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2019 Season – Round 2 Preview!

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!

 

By |April 27th, 2019|Categories: 2019, News|0 Comments

2019 Season – Round 1 Preview!

On the eve of Practice before the first round of the 2019 944 Challenge season, we will go through a quick preview of the drivers entered for Round 1 at Sandown – with a higher number of entries than any round in 2018 a positive way to start the new year!

#1 Cameron Beller – Cameron returns for 2019 after clinching his third consecutive 944 Challenge Series Championship – and will have his sights on Championship number 4 this year.

#74 Mark Taubitz – Mark was able to win the unofficial ‘over 20’s’ championship last year with third in the series behind Beller and Jamie Westaway. He will be looking to start his season strongly and will be aiming for podium finishes this weekend.

#64 Keith Marriner – Keith had a strong 2018 season with fourth in the season standings at the end of the year – some further upgrades to his car in the off season have taken place to help him as he attempts to repeat this result for the 2019 Championship.

#8 Dick Howe – Dick showed good speed at times throughout the year but was hampered by a couple of DNF’s that stopped him from placing higher in the points. He will be looking to get the season off on the right foot at Sandown this weekend.

#46 Jim Mitchell – Jim had another very consistent season and fought adversity with a number of mechanical issues to keep running all year – sixth in the pointscore a good reward for his efforts to keep the car on the circuit. With his best result of 2018 coming at Round 1 at Sandown, Jim will look to replicate that performance this weekend.

#98 Pedr James – A good season for Pedr with a season result of 7th despite missing two rounds of the season – he will hand over the reigns of his trusted 944 in exchange for the ex-Ryan Woods machine that Pedr will take control of, as he looks to become familiar with the Left Hand Drive configuration in anticipation of a new build in the works to come on circuit later in the year…

#4 Ken Rowland – Ken sat out the first half of the 2018 season, but proved he hadn’t lost any of his pace as he returned to the circuit in the second half of the year in anticipation for a full season campaign in 2019. Ken will have his eyes on some top 5 finishes this weekend at Sandown.

#32 John Vainoras – John was away from the championship for the second half of 2018, but returns at Sandown for Round 1 and will look for a good start to 2019 this weekend.

#27 Toni Andreevski – Toni only managed to attend three rounds last year, but is hoping to get to more rounds this season – and a good result as he unlocks more speed on his 944 will be the perfect way for him to start the season.

#28 Tony Westaway – Tony handed over the keys of his trusty 944 to son Jamie who took the car to the 2018 Vic State Championship and 2nd place in the 944 Challenge title. Tony only was able to get into the seat for the Tailem Bend round, where he showed he hasn’t lost his speed with a series of podiums on the weekend. He will return behind the wheel for the full season in 2019.

#12 Marius Catrina – Marius was only present for two rounds in 2018 at the start and end of the season, though encountered issues at the final round at Island Magic. He will look for some top tens at Sandown – a track he has had some good performances at in the past.

#31 Adam Brewer – Adam showed good pace in his first race at Island Magic and will be a force to be reckoned with as he gets more experience behind the wheel of his 944 and familiarises himself with the circuits. His first 944 race at Sandown this weekend will prove a new challenge, but Adam will no doubt be up to the task with results in the top half of the field as his intention for the weekend.

#16  Paul Crocitti – Paul sat out the majority of the 2018 season bar the Tailem Bend round – but returns for Round 1 of the 2019 season Paul has shown good speed at Sandown in events gone by, and will be another with aims of a top ten this weekend

#53 Peter Doherty – Peter attended a couple of rounds in 2018 in a season that was highlighted by taking out victory in the final race of the Dennis O Keeffe Cup at Winton. Fuel issues at Island Magic cut his weekend short, he will hope for more reliability this weekend.

#14 Paul Greer – Paul 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.

We have four drivers making their debut in the 944 Challenge this weekend!

#21 Clayton Sinclair – Clayton is behind the wheel of the Guards Red #21 944 that was last raced by Jim Gallagher and being run out of the Beller Motorsport camp. Clayton has had some track experience behind the wheel of a very potent Nissan – and will find a different experience racing the nimble but underpowered in comparison 944s!

#66 Tim Wolfe – Tim has purchased the ex-Vince Misuraca 944 and returns it to the track with #66 on the door. Coming over from Western Australia, Tim also has experience in WA, but is pumped at the prospect of close racing on the nations best circuits as he takes on the full 2019 season in his 944!

#57 Campbell Hammersley-Alderson – Taking over behind the wheels of Pedr’s familiar white & green PKJ Fencing 944, Campbell has had some experience getting used to the car he will be racing after helping Pedr with crewing on the car over the past couple of seasons before taking over behind the wheel!

#33 Andy Jones – Andy will also debut 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 is also not a complete stranger to Porsches’ and the 944, having done track days in a club spec 944 before taking the plunge to purchase his new steed to get out for some door handle to door handle racing!

944 Qualifying kicks off at 9:10am on Saturday morning with Race 1 at 1:35pm. Come on down to fantastic Phillip Island for a great weekend of racing!

By |February 28th, 2019|Categories: 2019, News|0 Comments