Anticipation is building ahead of the 2016 Valvoline Wakefield 300 in just over a week, with a full capacity grid set to tackle the popular endurance event on 20-21 February.
The race features a diverse array of manufacturers including Mazda, BMW, Holden, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Lotus and many others.
Last year’s winning father-and-son combination of Steve and Jake Shelley will defend the title in their Deputy.com Lotus Elise. 2015 was a stellar season for the Sydney-based Shelleys, who became the first team to win both the Wakefield and Winton 300s in the same season.
The Shelley entry is one of three fast Loti gunning for outright victory, the others are Sydneysiders Glenn Townsend/Anthony Soole and Queenslanders John Prefontaine/Robert Hackwood, both of who finished on the podium in 2014.
Also making the trek from Queensland are two very rapid BMW 135i entries for Grant/Iain Sherrin and Michael Sherrin/David Ayres. With vast experience in production car endurance racing, the Sherrins are a strong chance to upset the New South Wales drivers and teams on their home turf.
Another strong car from the German manufacturer is the Targa Racing BMW Z3 of Mark Mackay and 2014 Kumho V8 Touring Car Champion Justin Ruggier, which will run as part of Chris Gough’s slick Targa Racing operation.
As has typically been the case, the event has attracted strong representation from the Canberra region, including two-time Wakefield 300 Nathan Jess who teams up with Kerran Dal-Maso in a motorcycle-engined Future Racer. The Jess/Dal-Maso entry is one of three Canberra-based Future Racers in the field, along with Chad Cotton/Jase Collins and Matt Thewlis/Chris Clearihan.
Other Canberra-based teams include the Fifth Gear Motoring Nissan 180SX of Daniel Flanagan/Damian Lomax, Proton Satria GTI of Shane Tanner/Ben Johnson and BMW E30 of Glenn Potter/John Angiolella.
Mazda MX5s have been the weapon of choice in the AEC for a number of years and veterans Michael Hall and Rob Hay will compete for outright victory in their Hydra-Wash Racing entry, while former national Formula Vee Champions Daniel Reynolds and Matt Stubbs are also a strong contender from the MX5 brigade.
Some changes to the regulations have given more cars a chance of winning; cars in the fastest divisions have to complete extra timed compulsory pit stops, setting up the mouth-watering prospect of a grandstand finish in which the faster cars are fighting their way through the field in the closing laps.
Official practice, qualifying and the Supashock Top 10 Shootout for the Valvoline Wakefield 300 will be held on Saturday, 20 February. The fastest qualifier in the Top 10 Shootout will win a $500 cash prize thanks to Supashock Racing Suspension.
The 137 lap, 300km race will commence early afternoon on Sunday, 21 February.
All Sunday’s action will be live streamed by Canberra production company Toast AV (link here).
Tickets are available at the gate, admission is $20 per day or $35 for a two-day pass, with children under 16 free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Valvoline Wakefield 300 – Fast Facts
- The Wakefield 300 race distance is 301.4km (137 laps around the 2.2km circuit).
- Since the Wakefield 300 started in 2008, the average number of Safety Cars has been 3.6 per race. There have been at least two Safety Cars in every race and the record stands at nine in the torrentially wet 2012 event.
- The Wakefield 300 has never been won from pole position.
- The lap record for the Wakefield 300 is 1:02.4926, set by Justin Ruggier in 2014.
- The race record for the Wakefield 300 is 2hr 45min 11.2339sec, set by Steve Shelley/Jake Shelley in 2015.
Valvoline Wakefield 300 – Past Winners
2008: Nathan Jess/Chris Clearihan – Future Racer
2009: Nathan Jess/Jeff Davy – Future Racer
2010: David Raddatz/Shane Otten – Mazda MX5
2011: Stephen Anslow/Ric Shaw – Mazda RX7
2012: Jake Shelley/Michael Shaw – Mitsubishi Evo VIII
2013: Jake Shelley/Michael Shaw – Mitsubishi Evo IX
2014: Andrew Macpherson/Brad Shiels – Lotus Exige
2015: Steve Shelley/Jake Shelley – Lotus Elise HPE
2016 Valvoline Wakefield 300 – Entry List
1. Steve Shelley/Jake Shelley – Deputy.com Lotus Sport Elise
2. Gavin Clay/Greg Quince – Rockfield Views/PHP Ashphalt Mazda MX5
9. Terry Denovan/Geoff Stockley – MRA/Menai Mufflers Holden VH Commodore
10. Paul Shacklady/Anthony Carter – MX5 Parts Mazda MX5
11. Nathan Jess/Kerran Dal-Maso – Canberra Hydraulics Future Racer
14. Greg Tasker/Shaun Vanzyl – Tasker Joinery Mazda MX5
18. Grant Sherrin/Iain Sherrin – Sherrin Rentals BMW 135i
19. Michael Sherrin/David Ayres – Sherrin Rentals BMW 135i
20. Peter Lacey/Robin Lacey – Gold Coast Embroidery/Ozetees Mazda MX5
22. Iain McDougall/TBA – Challenge Motorsport Mini Cooper S JCW
27. Shane Tanner/Ben Johnson – Tanner Autosport Proton Satria GTI
34. John Prefontaine/Robert Hackwood – Wellpro Racing Lotus Exige
39. David Bailey/Adam Hughes – Advanced Gas Maintenance Toyota 86
46. Howard Glinn/Joshua Glinn/Ryan Glinn – Triumphant Racing Triumph TR8
49. Chris Belling/Rhys Belling – JB Lubricants/RB Bricklaying HQ Holden
55. Anthony Bonnano/Adam Dodd – Targa Racing VW Scirocco
59. Wayne Cooper/Scott Bargwanna – Shorehire Mazda MX5
66. Glenn Potter/John Angiolella – Ingenium Group BMW E30 325i
68. Dylan Thomas/Stuart Kostera – CXC Global Racing Daytona Coupe
73. Glenn Townsend/Anthony Soole – Property Investment Store Lotus Exige
75. Michael Hall/Rob Hay – Hydra-Wash Mazda MX5
78. Daniel Reynolds/Matt Stubbs – Mazda MX5
83. Gavin Holland/Dave Thomas – CXC Global/Royal Medical Mitsubishi Evo IX
86. Daniel Kapetanovic/Daniel Sugden – Pinnacle Automotive BMW 328i
88. Andrew Walker/Mark Nottage – Allcity Recyclers/Trans Help Foundation Hyundai Excel
96. Chris Purnell/Mika Polota-Nau – Pulsar Driver Search Nissan Pulsar
98. Brett McFarland/Peter Green Jnr – Subaru Impreza WRX
101. Dave Williams/Scott Williams – Hi Tech Motorsport Hyundai Excel
110. David Viner/Rob Viner – Targa Racing Mazda MX5
111. Mark Mackay/Justin Ruggier – Downer/Targa Racing BMW Z3
123. Steven Head/Owen Boak – Elements Cleaning Mazda MX5
127. Trevan Spiteri/John Spiteri – Brindabella Home Improvements Mitsubishi Evo VI
130. Nick Cox/Adam Gosling – BMW 130i
141. Elliot Wright/Greg Morsillo – One Way Racing Triumph TR7
144. Parry Anastakis/Lee Field – Peugeot 205 GTI
146. Michael Wedge/Peter Batterham – Holden VX Commodore
164. Mark Morsillo/Rhys Morsillo – One Way Racing/Bevisco Interiors Triumph Dolomite
173. Dominic Martens/Michael Ridings – IGS Group/RPH Motorsport Logistics Porsche 944
175. Tony Ross/Paul Chapman – Bavaria/Ensign Racing Mazda MX5
178. Craig Burgess/Adam Burgess – BPG Motorsport Ginetta G50
183. Roland Rohrle/Ross Wood – Ross Wood Electrical Mazda RX7
221. Matt Thewlis/Chris Clearihan – Construct Building Solutions/Braddon Auto Mart Future Racer
222. Chad Cotton/Jase Collins – Autocolours/Supreme Dry Cleaners Future Racer
551. Daniel Flanagan/Damian Lomax – Jim Sharples Racing/Fifth Gear Motoring Nissan 180SX
607. Stephen Anslow/John Walker/Shane Otten – Quality Racing Mazda RX7
661. Christine Boak/Alistair Jack – Elements Restoration/Cojack Developments Toyota 86
818. Benny Tran/Jimmy Tran – BYP Racing Honda Civic