2017 Season Preview! Round 1 Sandown – Part 1

2017 Season Preview! Round 1 Sandown – Part 1

As we count down to the first round of the 2017 944 Challenge Series, we will feature a preview of each racer entered for Round 1. Check back soon for the second part of our Round 1 preview.

#1 Cameron Beller 

The 2016 944 Challenge Series Winner, Cameron Beller returns to commence his title defence for 2017. After winning 8 races in 2016, along with 5 of the 6 races held at Sandown Raceway, Beller will surely be one of the favourites going into Round 1 in two weeks time.

#4 Ken Rowland

Ken Rowland returned with his new car for Round 2 of 2016 and spent a few rounds sorting out the setup of the #4 Hire Depot 944, but then leapt forward with his speed, which peaked with a 4th place finish in the final race of the year at Winton Motor Raceway.

This helped him to 11th in the season points for the year, and will be looking to keep that speed up for the first round at Sandown Raceway.

#6 Robert Lange

Robert Lange is wheeling out his 944 for the first round of 2017 after returning for two rounds in 2016, which was the first time in 4 years for him to get back onto the track.

On his return qualifying session he put car #6 on the front row of the grid alongside Beller before encountering some reliability issues in the races, so pace won’t be an issue for the 4 time series champion.

#8 Dick Howe

The final driver in the first half of our preview of drivers entered for Round 1 in 2017 is veteran Dick Howe.

Dick’s 2016 was not a memorable one, missing the opening round and the majority of events peppered with mechanical gremlins. At Phillip Island in October, the Yellow #8 car met its demise with a crash coming into Hayshed corner on the opening lap of the first race ending his season.

Dick has rebuilt his car and hopes a change of colour will bring a change of fortunes, with the new #8 adorning a white paint scheme for 2017.

#12 Marius Catrina 

Marius is the most recent winner in the 944 Challenge series, and also the inaugural winner of the Dennis O’Keefe Cup in the final race at Winton in December.

Marius begins his 9th season in the 944 Challenge and will be looking forward to a strong start to his 2017 season.

#13 Jim Gallagher

Jim finished in the top 10 in the 2016 season pointscore last year despite missing a round at Phillip Island and the second day of the September Winton event. After earning a 4th place finish at Phillip Island last year, Jim will be aiming to get onto the podium in 2017.

#20 Andrew Jackman

Andrew joined the 944 Challenge midway through 2016 and he has been working on moving further up the field, and has the tutelage of past 944 driver Justin Tate to assist him in getting the Poolmaster 944 into the battle for the Top 5 in his first attempt at the full season in 2017.

#22 Brad Winter

Brad enters his second full season in the 944 challenge after debuting late in 2015.

His results improved in the second half of the season and he snared a 3rd position race finish at Sandown and a bunch of top 5’s on his way to 6th in the 2016 season. He will be looking to add to his podium haul in 2017.

#53 Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty will be racing in what will be the first time he has been able to make the first round of the season in a number of years. After only attending three rounds tin 2016, Peter will hope to do more races this year and rank higher in the pointscore than last year as a result, and will be looking for a solid start to his season at Sandown.

#64 Keith Marriner

Keith was another new addition to the 944 series in 2016. After debuting at Sandown he competed his first races there and he will be returning to a track for the first time as he looks to improve the pace of his #64 PAS backed car to move it further up the field in 2017.

#74 Mark Taubitz

After his first top 5 finish in 2015, Marks season didn’t start off on the right foot with a broken gearbox in practice for Round 1 meant he was a DNS for the weekend. Things improved from that point as Mark managed to collect 7 more top 5 finishes on his way to 7th outright in the 944 points for the year.

 

Part 2 of our drivers preview is coming soon!

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