The 944 Challenge drivers are super excited to hit the track as part of a special invitation to join in with Round 5 of the Shannons Nationals series, which will feature the first visit of the TCR series to the Winton circuit. This year will also see this round be a points round of the 944 Challenge series Championship.
Here is a preview for this event which will again see the Dennis O’Keefe Cup presented – this time to the winner of the fourth and final (non-points) race of the weekend, which will again be a handicap reverse grid race on Sunday afternoon.
For those that can’t make it down, make sure you tune into the Shannons Nationals Livestream on both Saturday & Sunday for all the action! Saturdays qualifying session starts at 9:50, with Race 1 at 12:55 that day and Race 2 at Sundays Reverse grid race is at 10:40am, with the Handicap race finale at 13:35. Below is a list of those competing this weekend:
#1 Cameron Beller – Cameron was able to recover from his disaster at Winton in July with a perfect weekend at Sandown. He will need to avoid his Winton curse this weekend to ensure he maintains his newly re-claimed championship points lead.
#28 Tony Westaway – Tony had an outstanding weekend last time out at Winton with two race victories securing him the Round win also – the first wins of his career, but lost the series lead after Sandown as a result of Beller’s perfect points haul. A repeat of last time at Winton would put Tony back on top again – can he repeat and topple Beller?
#4 Ken Rowland – Ken also had a great weekend last time at Winton, with a solid weekend ending on the highest point as he finished second in the final race, setting the fastest lap across the three races – but his last round at Sandown wasn’t as strong, with a DNF in the final race. He will also look to repeat his Winton form.
#31 Adam Brewer – Adam had a frustrating weekend last time at Winton, but recovered with a strong performance at Sandown last round. His car was raced by Manny Mezzasalma last year at this round as Adam will have his first event as part of the Shannons Nationals.
#27 Toni Andreevski – Toni’s consistent season continued on at both Winton and Sandown – Toni will aim to improve on his Round 3 results at last time out at Winton and improve on his speed as he looks to be a regular feature amongst the leading battle packs.
#3 Mark Taubitz – Mark is returning after a couple of horror rounds that saw him complete only 7 laps of racing and yielding no points – he showed good pace last time out at Winton and will hope to turn around his recent run of bad luck this weekend.
#46 Jim Mitchell – Jim had a good round last time out at Winton and scored some decent points – something he will hope to repeat at his return to the circuit and look to move back into the top ten in points.
#8 Dick Howe – Dick had a bad weekend last time at Winton suffering two DNF’s and unable to start the final race after an off-track excursion on the final lap of race 2 caused some exhaust damage that was unable to be fixed for Race 3. He was able to bounce back with a strong showing at Sandown however, culminating n third position in the final race for the weekend, and subsequently the round outright.
#98 Pedr James – Pedr was back aboard his old faithful white and green car at Winton and showed great speed racing with the lead pack all weekend, but a qualifying accident at Sandown sees him returning to Winton with his Left-hand drive silver & black machine. Pedr will hope to string together a reliable weekend to avoid any repairs before Phillip Island in 4 weeks time.
#32 John Vainoras – John had his highest pointscore for the year last time at Winton, finishing all three races and battling hard all weekend with Andy Jones who will be absent while he recuperates from surgery. John will have his sights set on the cars immediately in front of him as he looks to close the gap in front of him.
#45 Michael Westaway – Michael showed his customary great speed at Winton last round, despite a race 1 spin was on track for a great weekend with a 4th and 3rd place finishes in races 1 & 2 before his car came to a halt on the warm-up lap for Race 3. Being the only points he has scored so far this year Michael is out of the point hunt, so will have podium finishes in his sight for this weekend at a track he traditionally has had some standout performances at.
#97 Rob Holding – Rob had his first round of the year at Sandown last round and encountered some teething issues, but now that they are sorted, he will be looking to repeat his standout performance at this round last year where he diced all weekend long with Cam Beller & Chris Lewis-Williams.
#53 Peter Doherty – Peter is still trying to sort his engine gremlins, and having thrown some more parts at the #53 car, its fingers crossed that he can have a trouble-free Friday and be on circuit for this weekends racing – something he hasn’t been able to do thus far as he chases his car issues.
#22 Brad Winter – Brad makes his return to the circuit for the first time since the end of 2018 – although that was only brief as clutch dramas in qualifying saw him pack up before turning a wheel in any of the races. Brad will surely have lost none of his speed and will be dicing amongst the lead pack this weekend.
#21 Clayton Sinclair – Clayton is a last-minute withdrawal due to illness – and will instead return to the circuit at Phillip Island for the final round of the Vic State Series Championships.
Missing this round will be John Kennedy & Lyndon Watson, which will hurt them in their points position. Also absent will be Keith Marriner, Tim Wolfe, Marius Catrina and Andy Jones – all of which are expected to return for Phillip Island. Andrew Jackman will be in attendance, but without his car as he prepares for the 2020 season with his race car.
The weather at this point looks to be fine and sunny all weekend – with the TCR and Prototype cars on the bill for the weekend, it will be a great weekends racing to come down and watch!
Race Program available here!