Only 1 more sleep until the 944 Challenge hit the track for the first time in 2018 in practice for the first round of the 2018 Victorian State Circuit Racing Championships!
Here is the Preview for the first round of the series for 2018. A smaller than usual field for this round, though we should see an increase in numbers with some new and returning cars due to enter for Round 2!
#1 Cameron Beller – Cameron is returning in an attempt to secure a third consecutive championship in 2018. With Cameron being the only race winner from 2017 to line up for the first round, he will be entering as odds on favourite to set the pace.
#28 Jamie Westaway – Jamie again has commandeered the keys to Tony’s 944 after his successful outing at the non points Historic round in November – and he will be hoping to challenge Beller again as he returns to the Melbourne venue in his first 944 Challenge Race weekend.
#74 Mark Taubitz – Mark had a 2017 season which left him feeling unsatisfied with some up and down results through the year, and he will be looking for a strong weekend to get his 2018 season off on the right foot.
#8 Dick Howe – Dick showed some good speed during 2017 season, especially at Phillip Island where he earnt a third place finish in October. He will also look to get a strong start in 2018 at Sandown.
#64 Keith Marriner – Keith had a good 2017 season as he completed his first full year in the 944 Challenge, and with a number of upgrades in the off season for car #64, he will look to move further up the order at the start of his 2018 season.
#32 John Vainoras – John also had his first full season in 2017 and showed good reliability and scored consistent points as he made progress with his times throughout the course of the year. He will look to improve further in 2018.
#13 Jim Gallagher – Jim missed a couple of rounds in 2017, but he will hopefully be at all rounds in 2018 as he looks to find the podium during the season with a number of strong performances to build on to help propel him further up the order!
#5 Lyndon Watson – Lyndon joined the series in 2017 and was quickly on the pace, and found himself on the edge of a podium result – something he will hope to earn early on in the 2018 season as he continues to further improve as he grows more familiar with the car.
#97 Rob Holding – Rob was another new driver for 2017 season who also showed good signs of improvement as he also strived to find the keys to speed in his 944. A season best finish of 5th at Sandown will be the benchmark Rob will look to improve on during his 2018 campaign.
#12 Marius Catrina – Marius also missed a couple of events during the year but the series veteran will be back for a full campaign for 2018. Some refinement in the off season will hopefully help Marius unlock some more lap speed on board car #12 at Sandown this weekend.
#46 Jim Mitchell – Jim enjoyed his first season, though he suffered from some reliability issues throughout the year, he put in some strong runs throughout the year. With some experience through the year, he will be buoyed by a strong performance last time at Sandown for the Historic non points round as he looks for a good start to 2018.
#98 Pedr James – Pedr also missed a few rounds, and suffered from some unreliability – but the PKJ Fencing car will be back, and having received a birthday, look for Pedr to have some extra pep as he hits the track for the first round, and will clearly have a result well into the top ten as his aim for the weekend.
#20 Andrew Jackman – Andrew also missed a couple of rounds in 2017, and also had some unfortunate luck with tested him during the season. He will look to have exorcised his reliability demons when the cars hit the track this weekend as he will also look to convert the encouraging speed into race results during the first round.