Round 1 Winton – Race Preview

Round 1 Winton – Race Preview

Some extremely warm weather greets the 944 Challenge Series this weekend at Winton Raceway to kick off the 2016 Season. Lets have a quick look at the drivers who have braved the sun this weekend to get the best start to 2016 as possible before being joined by a number of new and returning competitors for Phillip Island at the end of next month for Round 2.

#55 Cameron Beller.  2015 State Series Cameron Beller returns after some hasty rebuilds in his Green Machine in the off season. Looking to capitalise on his end of season pace further, Cameron will no doubt be showing his pace on the newly resurfaced Winton layout.

#37 Chris Lewis-Williams. Chris has rolled out his 944 with a very clean and striking white livery adorning his familiar #37, and has shown some good speed around the Winton layout in testing for the start of the season, and will be up front as always.

#99 Graham Smith. Graham has returned for the 2016 season and will be hoping to get a good slab of points on the board to start his season in the best possible way in the Hazard Solutions 944.

#74 Mark Taubitz. Mark will be preparing for a good showing in what will only be his third race weekend at Winton after his debut in the wet at 2013 and missing the 2014 round after losing an engine in qualifying. Hoping to continue to find pace in the Black Zantek machine.

#50 Tony Westaway. Tony will be no doubt giving the front runners plenty to worry about as usual in the Bright Yellow #50 machine after showing some strong pace towards the end of the year.

#98 Pedr James. Pedr had a very consistant 2015 season up until Island Magic and will want to erase those memories. A fresh coat of paint after some repairs, the PKJ Rural Fencing machine has never looked better before kicking off his 2016 campaign.

#8 Richard Howe. Series veteran Dick Howe has been chasing a persistant vibration in the #8 Porsche, which has hampered his speed of late. Friday testing hasn’t found the cure – so Dick has unfortunately taken his 944 back home to further seek to find the answer andis unlikely to return to the track for this weekends racing. Fingers crossed he solves the problems for Phillip Island.

#45 Michael Westaway. Michael is back on track for 2016 after overcoming some issues preventing him from attending the full season last year, and will look for a good start to his 2016 campaign at Winton and will no doubt be aiming to be in the top 5 this weekend.

#13 Jim Gallagher. Jim had an up and down 2015 and will be looking to start 2016 in the right way. The #13 944 looks striking and fresh after a clean up yesterday, and Jim was very happy with the speed in testing yesterday so will no doubt be a force this weekend.

#12 Marius Catrina. Another veteran 944 racer, Marius will return for 2016 in the distinctive #12 Porsche. Showed some good speed in the heat yesterday, Marius will be looking for a strong weekend at Winton.

#15 Vince Misuraca. Vince only competed in a few rounds in 2015, but he did compete at this Winton Round, he did put the car on Pole Position, and he did win Race 1 before a mechanical drama on the warm up lap for Race 2 put an early end to his weekend. The car looked quick in Friday Practice, so expect Vince to have lost none of his speed at Winton.

#3 Jason Miller. Jason showed some strong speed in the #3 car last year and will be looking to capitalise further in this his first full year of 944 Racing. A win in the Winton 300 with Paul Crocitti has given him plenty of laps around here so should be looking to be quick from the outset this weekend.

#16 Paul Crocitti. Paul is also looking at his first full season in the #16 machine this year, and along with Jason Miller, the 2015 Winton 300 victory will have him confident here, and the car will surely know its way around just about on its own after that race! Expect Paul to move well up the order this season.

#22 Brad Winter. Brad returns for his seond round in the newly aquired ex-Rose 944. Looking more pristine than ever, the striking silver and purple and black 944 will stand out on track – and Brad will no doubt be making sure you don’t have to look too far from the front to find him after showing impressive speed at his first round.

Unfortunately, Overall 2015 944 Series Round winner Adam Mills will not be on track to start his title defence after the heavy damaged sustained to his car in the 2015 round has prevented his from getting back on track in time for Winton – but he will no doubt be back on track soon! 2015 Series 3rd Place finisher Lee Partridge is also absent from the starting grid this year, but will be present at the track this weekend, and was a busy boy yesterday giving three different 944’s a shakedown on Friday!

So a great weekend of racing is coming up at Winton, come on down and enjoy the sights, smells, and the sounds of the cars, and a special guest commentator for the round calling all of the action!

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