Less than one week remains until the 944 Challenge field set off to begin practice for Round 2 of the 2019 season at Phillip Island. 22 cars and drivers are entered, the highest field since Round 1 of the 2017 Season!
#1 Cameron Beller – Cameron continued on his winning ways at Round 1 of the season at Sandown with a perfect result with 3 wins from 3 races Will he be able to replicate this performance at Phillip Island?
#4 Ken Rowland – Ken showed impressive pace as he secured his first front row starting position and also his first podium finishes to make a strong start to the season after missing the first half of the 2018 season. Ken will be looking to keep the momentum up at Phillip Island, a track he historically has performed well at.
#31 Adam Brewer – Adam performed extremely well at his first outing at Sandown raceway at Round 1, and will be looking to repeat the performance as he returns to a track he has competed at previously in Phillip Island. One driver who suffered cooling dramas in the heat of the Sandown weekend, he will look to have put those issues behind him and improve further on his pace.
#3 Mark Taubitz – Mark was another who struggled with engine temperature and performance at Sandown which left him slightly off the pace he was expecting. He will also hope to have solved those issues for Phillip Island and will look to get onto the podium for the first time this weekend.
#66 Tim Wolfe – Tim was the highest placed of the 944 rookies who had their first outing at Sandown and performed extremely well in his first outing. Some further comfort tweaks in the gap between Rounds 1 & 2 will surely mean he will find some more pace on board the Pipecraft 944 as he has first outing at Phillip Island.
#64 Keith Marriner – Keith had a solid performance at PI, though a spin in Race 3 prevented him from having a better result for the round. Some vehicles upgrades have given Keith further confidence which will have him chasing some personal best records at Phillip Island this coming weekend.
#46 Jim Mitchell – Jim again had a solid weekend at Sandown to commence the first round, highlighted by a seventh position in Race 2 bookended by a pair of ninth place finishes after qualifying dramas saw him at the back of the pack. Jim will be looking for another trio of top ten finishes this weekend at PI.
#27 Toni Andreevski – Toni also had a strong opening round at Sandown as he improved throughout the weekend, culminating in an eighth place finish in the final race of the weekend, Toni will be returning for Round 2 as he attempts to complete as many rounds as possible this season.
#28 Tony Westaway – Tony was on track for a great weekend after finishing Race 1 in second position, however a part failure on the first corner of Race 2 put him out of that race, though recovered strongly to finish fifth in the final race. Tony will be hoping to retain the strong pace shown across to Phillip Island to move himself up the points order.
#98 Pedr James – Pedr ran his new car for the first time, as he acclimatised to left hand drive for the first time. Struggling with pace however, Pedr will no doubt have made some tweaks in an attempt to find some more speed for Round 2, at a track he has had good recent form at.
#57 Campbell Hammersley-Alderson – Taking over behind the wheels of Pedr’s familiar white & green PKJ Fencing 944, Campbell put on a good showing in his first round behind the wheel of a 944 – he will also be looking to close the gap on the mid pack as he gets more familiar with the car on his first visit to Phillip Island.
#33 Andy Jones – Andy also debuted with the series behind the wheel of a car returning to the series for the first time in 8 years – albeit with a number of upgrades. Andy also put on a good performance, battling with Campbell for the weekend and also improving as the weekend went on – Andy will also be looking to get more comfortable with the car as he improves his pace and move up the order this weekend.
#12 Marius Catrina – Marius put on a great performance in qualifying to slot himself sixth on the grid, unfortunately though a spin in Race 1 put him back in the pack, with a Race 3 DNF affecting his Round pointscore. Marius will be hoping to revisit that qualifying pace on his return to Phillip Island
#21 Clayton Sinclair – Clayton was another series debutante who performed very well – actually taking the gong of the highest qualifying of the four first time drivers on the weekend, but a race 2 engine blow up on the last lap ended his weekend early after a strong Race 1 on Saturday. Armed with a fresh engine, Clayton will be ready to hit the track and repeat the performance this weekend.
#32 John Vainoras – John had a disappointing weekend at Sandown as he struggled with car issues all weekend in the heat, only managing to complete the first race on Saturday with two DNF’s on Sunday – he will be hoping for a turnaround of fortunes this weekend and to finish all the sessions.
#8 Dick Howe – Dick was out of the Sandown weekend early, after an engine failure on Saturdays qualifying session both laid down an impressive smokescreen, but caused Dick to put the car on the trailer. Ready and raring for Round 2, Dick will be back to make amends for the early demise with a strong Round 2 showing.
#53 Peter Doherty – Packing up from the Sandown weekend even earlier was Peter Doherty, as persistent fuel pickup and misfire issues throughout Friday practice led Peter to pack up to take the car home to fix it properly – hopefully no further issues will befall Peter this weekend..
#14 Paul Greer – Paul has hopefully fixed his fuel issues on his 944, and returns to the circuit for the first time in a couple of years – the distinctive Tiger Mica coloured 944 a welcome return to the circuit, and will be looking for some reliability this weekend as he has hopefully solved the issues that have plagued him in recent showings.
#5 Lyndon Watson – Lyndon was a last minute withdrawal from Round 1, so will be looking to start his 2019 season at Phillip Island, a track where he showed good speed in 2018 and will no doubt have a podium finish in his sights for the weekend ahead.
#20 Andrew Jackman – Fresh from a run around the famed Mount Panorama circuit aboard his 944 as part of the Porsche regularity meeting, Andrew will also be starting his 2019 944 Challenge campaign at Phillip Island – another who has had some of his strongest finishes at the historic circuit, AJ will be looking to be firmly inside the top ten – and will be one smiling if the skies turn grey and the track turns wet…
#45 Michael Westaway – A trio of podium finishes was the results for Michael at his last outing – which having missed Round 1 this year, was achieved at the final round of the 2018 season – at Phillip Island… Michael will be another who will be surely looking to put himself back on the podium this weekend as he looks to make up for missing the first round.
#99 John Kennedy – Another series debutante this weekend comes in the form of John Kennedy – John is no stranger to pedalling a 944 around the race circuit however, as he has completed many track days in his 944 S2. How will John adapt to the lower powered 2.5 litre Challenge car? His new steed has got great form – having sat on the podium at Round 1 in the hands of its builder, Paul Crocitti.
As a result of the sale, missing from the round is Paul Crocitti on the heels of his best ever race and round results at Round 1 at Sandown, Paul will be on the sidelines and will wave goodbye to his second position in the points standings as a result. Hopefully we will see Paul on track behind the wheel of another car later on in the year…
944 Qualifying kicks off at 10:25am on Saturday morning with Race 1 at 2:25pm. Come on down to fantastic Phillip Island for a great weekend of racing!