Only a couple of days left before we hit the track for Practice for Round 1! Here is the second part of our preview of the drivers who will be on the grid at Sandown.
#14 Paul Greer
Making a return for 2017 is Paul Greer, with his pristine looking Bronze coloured #14 Porsche 944.
Paul has had mechanical gremlins hamper his last two race weekends in the past couple of seasons, and he will be hoping some work on the car in the off season will mean that they are now a thing of the past!
#15 Vince Misuraca
Returning to defend his State Series title from 2016 is Vince Misuraca.
Vince had an extremely consistent season and was able to comfortably clinch the State series, and took the battle for the 944 season title down to the wire at the last round at Winton.
His speed and reliability will mean he will enter Round 1 as one of the favourites this weekend.
#16 Paul Crocitti
Paul had a great start to his 2016 season with two 5th place finishes in the first two races before an engine failure caused a DNF, and Paul didn’t return until the last round of the series at Winton.
Paul again showed good pace and he will be hoping that that translates to good speed at the fast Sandown Raceway venue as he looks to compete in the full 2017 season.
#18 Ross Millar
Another of the drivers from our big list of 23 entered for Round 1 is Ross Millar.
Ross returned for four rounds last year after sitting out the 2015 season, and earned himself 5 top 10 finishes from the 11 races that he started.
For season 2017 Ross will be looking to compete in the full season and to get himself consistently inside the top 10.
#29 Ben Raphael
Ben Raphael was another driver to the 944 Challenge in 2016, coming over all the way from WA to compete in the challenge from Round 2 at Phillip Island.
Ben spent the year coming to grips with the characteristics of his car and improved his pace throughout the season to be battling with the experienced 944 field in the later races.
Relocating to Victoria in the off season, some further testing and time behind the wheel should see Ben’s car moving up the field this season.
#32 John Vainoras
John Vainoras is the next of our previewed drivers, as he has entered for his second race weekend, and first at Sandown Raceway.
John acquitted himself well at his first round at Winton last year and kept himself out of trouble and free of drama to record a consistent weekend of results, and will be looking to improve his pace at Sandown with the striking dark purple #32 944.
#37 Chris Lewis-Williams
Chris Lewis-Williams is another long time 944 Member returning for the 2017 season aboard his familiar #37 Porsche.
2016 was another strong season for Chris who entered the last race of the season with a chance to win the title despite missing the Sandown round in May last year, and he will be looking to start this season strongly this weekend after taking the victory in the last held at the Sandown track in 2016.
#45 Michael Westaway
Back again in 2017 will be the distinctive orange #45 machine of Michael Westaway.
Michael had a great start to 2016 at Winton with a pair of fourth place finishes, and he finished the season in 5th outright only 4 points behind Tony Westaway, with seven top 5 results for the year.
Michael will be another driver wanting to get onto the podium in 2017.
#46 Jim Mitchell
One of the new drivers for the 2017 season is Jim Mitchell.
Jim has purchased the race winning car from Phillip Island from Jason Miller, and is looking forward to his first round with the 944 Challenge at Sandown Raceway.
Look out for the #46 car next weekend as he embraces the new challenge!
#50 Tony Westaway
Tony had another solid and consistent season in 2016, which netted him fourth outright for the season with two third place finishes. as well as third for the round at Sandown in May as his season highlights.
He will be looking to improve on his Sandown form and move further up on the podium.
#97 Rob Holding
Another new driver for 2017 is Rob Holding, who will be completing his OLT on Friday before competing in his first race weekend in the #97 Pellicano Porsche 944.
Rob has completed some testing in his 944 since acquiring it last year and has shown encouraging speed in his preparation for his first event.
#98 Pedr James
Last of the drivers previewed for Round 1, Pedr James has been a constant addition to the 944 Challenge over the past few years and he returns for 2017 in his distinctive white and green #98 Porsche.
Pedr showed another good increase in speed throughout 2016, which helped him secure 8th in the overall series points last year, and will be anticipating a strong showing at the fast Sandown Raceway circuit this weekend.