A selection of cars familiar to most road users will battle for supremacy in a one-hour endurance race at Wakefield Park this Sunday for the NSW Production Touring Car Championship.
Production Touring has been one of the fastest-growing categories in the state over the last five years and a massive 37-car field will take to Wakefield Park this weekend.
The philosophy of production car racing is simple: buy a car off the showroom floor, make the bare minimum of modifications to make it suitable for the track, and go racing. Production cars are therefore very popular with enthusiasts, who can cheer on cars very similar to those they drive on the road.
Heading into the weekend as favourites will be the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Evos, which have always been well-suited to the technical Wakefield Park circuit. Among the Evo brigade, the CXC Global Racing entry of Dylan Thomas will be strong, along with young go-kart graduates Daniel and Jaques Oosthuizen.
Another contender will be Jim Pollicina, who has been competing in the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series this weekend but returns to his production car roots in an Evo X he will share with former Wakefield 300 runner-up Michael Caine.
While some fans like the sophistication and nimble handling of the Japanese sedans, there are those who prefer V8 Aussie muscle and they will be catered for by the large assortment of V8 Holdens and HSVs on the entry list, including former Champion Matthew Holt, Bathurst 6 Hour class winner Tony Virag and former V8 Ute racer Steve Hodges, who teams up with Robert Coulthard.
NSW Production Touring includes classes for less-powerful cars as well, and the four-cylinder class battle between the Toyota 86s of Chris Reeves, Graeme Heath and David Bailey should be an entertaining “race within a race”.
While the production car enduro is the weekend’s headline act, it will be supported by a number of other categories as part of the CAMS NSW Motor Racing Championships.
The venerable HQ Holdens make their first appearance at Wakefield Park for 2016 with defending Champion John Baxter set to resume his battle with previous title holder Brett Osborn; other contenders are likely to include Chris Buckley and Scott Walker, who has made an impressive transition into the HQ category after previously racing Mazda MX5s.
Yellow Camaros have been a constant fixture at the front of NSW Sports Sedans for the last few seasons thanks to the efforts of Birol Cetin and Steven Lacey, and the rivalry bubbled over last time they visited Wakefield Park when Cetin and Lacey dramatically collided on the last lap of the last race.
Cetin heads into this weekend with a 17 point advantage over Lacey in the standings, with the consistent Anthony Macready a further 15 points behind.
The two regular open-wheel categories, Formula Ford and Formula Vee are also at Wakefield Park this weekend, along with Production Sports Cars.
On-track action commences at approximately 9:30am on both Saturday and Sunday; spectator admission is $20 each day for adults, children under 16 are free.