Only two more sleeps before a field of 19 drivers venture onto the hallowed Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for Qualifying for Round 2 of the Victorian Circuit Race Championships! Here is a quick preview of who to look out for..
#1 Cameron Beller – The Defending 944 Challenge Champion will start his weekend on the back foot after missing the Friday Pracice Day, but will no doubt be at the pointy end come Qualifying, fresh from two race wins at Round 1 at Sandown.
#15 Vince Misuraca – Vince made a great start to his 2017 season with a victory in Race 1 at Sandown, and followed up with a 4th and 3rd to be sitting in 2nd position in the points
#37 Chris Lewis-Williams – Chris also had a strong weekend at Sandown and sits 1 point behind Misuraca after netting himself a trio of podium finishes.
#22 Brad Winter – The 2016 Rookie of the Year started 2017 strongly and led his first race laps in Race 2 before finishing on the podium
#50 Tony Westaway – Tony was again consistant in his results over the Race 1 weeend, and this has placed him 5th in the points entering Round 2 – and with the aim of improving on that spot after Phillip Island.
#8 Dick Howe – A great weekend for the racing veteran with a pair of 5th places before losing a few spots in the closingstages of Race 3 with some shifting issues, Dick will be looking for more Top 5’s this weekend!
#6 Robert Lange – Rob grabbed a stunning Pole Position in Qualifying for Round 1 at Sandown but it went downhill in Race 1 with a spin while leading, and he had to spend the rest of the weekend playing catchup. Nevertheless, he consolidated for 7th outright for the weekend and will look to make it consecutive Pole Positions this weekend.
#74 Mark Taubitz – Mark qualified 5th with a strong lap in Qualifying but was let down by poor starts in the races which cost him spots in the races. He was able to consolidate for 8th outright over the weekend, and will be hoping for better results at PI.
#4 Ken Rowland – Recently voted ‘Most Improved Driver’ for 2016, Ken again had a solid weekend at Sandown and sits 10th in the series points heading into Round 2.
#98 Pedr James – Pedr was having another strong weekend at Sandown, dicing inside the top 10 before a mchanical gremlin crept in during the last race, dropping him down the order. Nevertheless, 11th outright in points and Pedr will hope his consistancy will see him move up the points ladder.
#12 Marius Catrina – Marius showed good signs of speed at Sandown and found himself 13th in points at the end of the weekend,and will have his sights set on moving into the top ten with a good weekend at the Island.
#53 Peter Doherty – Peter had a welcome drama free weekend at PI which sees him 14th in points just behind Catrina,andwith some tweaks that he will hope will help him with some Best times when we hit the track on Saturday.
#13 Jim Gallagher – Jim was having a strong weekend at Sandown until the 3rd race, when a bad start dropped him back, before anoff road excursion did some damage which ended his weekend.15th in points despite the DNF, he will be another hoping a solid weekend will move him up the pointscore.
#45 Michael Westaway – Michael definitely didn’t start 2017 off the way he wouldhave planned, only completing one lap in qualifying and a DNF in Race 1 was a horror Saturday, before recovering to a 7th place finish in Race 3 which sees him 16th in the points.
#46 Jim Mitchell – The winner of the 944 Challenge Pool Tournament had a good showing in his debut race weekend with the 944 Challenge,showing some good laptimes during the weekend – and he will move himself further up the field as he gets more comfortable with the car.
#29 Ben Raphael – Ben returns to the sceneofhis racing debut last year with a lot more knowledge gained in the past 12 months. Battling off some sickness,Ben will be looking to put that to the back of his mind as he looks to push his way further up the field.
#97 Rob Holding – Rob also made his debut with the 944 Challenge at Sandown and was running strong before some mechanical issues at the end of the final race dropped him down the order. His first visit to Phillip Islandwillno doubt be an experience as he also familiarises himself with his car.
#32 John Vainoras – John continues on his learning curve as he enters his first race weekend at the famed Phillip Island track, and will be looking to continue his unblemished run of reliability thus far as he looks to improving his speed in the #32 Porsche.
#5 Lyndon Watson – Another new name inthe 944 Challenge field sees Lyndon Watson taking the controls of the ex-Graham Smith 944. We welcome Lyndon aboard and hope he has a blast this weekend!
There you have your race preview for Round 2! Qualifying commences at 10:50am on Saturday with Race 1 at 2:45pm.
Sunday will see a 6 lap screamer held at 10:30, before a 10 lap final at 2:00pm.
And don’t forget… there is still a big announcement to come…