Round 2. Phillip Island – Race Preview

Round 2. Phillip Island – Race Preview

Round 2 of the 2016 Season for the 944 Challenge this weekend, and there is some mixed weather forecast for Phillip Island which may just throw the cat amongst the pigeons!

Lets have a look at the drivers that entered for this weekends round at PI, with a few new and returning members lining up on the grid.

#15 Vince Misuraca. Vince clean swept Winton in a dominating display, and is keen to go back-to-back with a Round win at PI.

#37 Chris Lewis-Williams. Chris was in the thick of the action at Winton and finished the weekend second overall – always quick around the Island – Chris will be have his sights set on the top step of the podium.

#55 Cameron Beller.  Along with Vince and Chris, Cam was up the front all weekend at Winton – and will hope to get the best possible start to defend his Vic State Series title at Round 1 at Phillip Island.

#45 Michael Westaway. Michael showed fantastic speed at Winton and was right on the tail of the top 3 at stages of the weekend for a great start to his 2016 season.  He will no doubt be aiming to be in the top 5 this weekend.

#3 Jason Miller. Jason didn’t exactly havea  smooth weekend at Winton, but made up for the dramas in the final race for the weekend with an excellent 4th place. Making the long trip down from Northern QLD, Jason might be a little bleary-eyed come Saturday morning Qualifying, but will no doubt have plenty of speed in the #3 machine.

#13 Jim Gallagher. Jim started off 2016 with some strong results at Winton and enters Round 2 of the 944 series 6th in points outright. A strong Weekend at Phillip Island could see him move into the top 5.

#50 Tony Westaway. Tony showed some great pace at Phillip Island last year, and after an off-track adventure hurt his overall round result at Winton, he will want to make up for that this weekend!

#98 Pedr James. Pedr had a good start to the season at Winton, and after some issues last time out at Phillip Island, he will be hoping for a good weekend and some good results in the bag for car #98.

#22 Brad Winter. Brad returns to the scene of his debut in the 944 series at Phillip Island – after a good showing of speed at Winton, a late race spin cost him a higher overall round result – but some good pace is evident in the Bradwin Roofing 944 – and that should show at the fast Phillip Island layout.

#12 Marius Catrina. Another veteran 944 racer, Marius had a consistent weekend aboard car #12 at Winton, and will look for some more speed and some good results at Phillip Island, a track he clearly enjoys

#74 Mark Taubitz. After damaging a gearbox in Practice at Winton which parked the Zantek machine for the weekend, Mark will be hoping to start his 2016 season properly at Phillip Island!

#8 Richard Howe. Series veteran Dick Howe had been chasing a persistent vibration in the #8 Porsche, which has hampered his speed of late and prevented him from being able to compete in the races at Winton. Dick feels he has now finally solved the problem, and will be champing at the bit to get back behind the wheel and into the action at Phillip Island!

#47 John Stanic. ‘Little John’ returns with his 944 after sitting out the 2015 season due to business and family commitments. After taking out this round in 2014, John will be looking to prove the time away from his 944 hasn’t cost him any of his speed and will aim to be up the front as he is accustomed to.

#41 Ken Rowland. Returning to the track for the first time in 12 months with a brand new car will be Ken Rowland. Be great to see Ken back at the track after an unfortunate incident necessitated repairs to his car – and he will no doubt be even more excited to be back out there!

#17 Ryan Woods. One of two Drivers making their debut with the 944 series is Ryan Woods. Ryan has purchased a car with some good pedigree that hasn’t seen the track in quite a while. Ryan has some good results with his previous racing experiences, so he will be looking to get up to the pointy end sooner rather than later!

#29 Ben Raphael. Our second 944 series debutante is Ben Raphael – making the trek over all the way from Western Australia, Ben will be having his first competitive race weekend this weekend behind the wheel of the ex-Harrison Imrie 944. Welcome aboard to both Ben & Ryan for a great weekend of racing!

No shows at Winton will be Graham Smith – Graham has sold his trusty 944 and is embarking on the National Toyota 86 series – we wish Graham all the best, and look forward to seeing his car return to the track with its new owner shortly! Also missing from the grid at PI will be Paul Crocitti, after hurting an engine in race 3 at Winton after having his strongest weekend to date, Paul has unfortunately ran out of time to get everything prepared in time for PI, but will no doubt be in attendance to watch his key rivals on track this weekend!

Unfortunately, Overall 2015 944 Series winner Adam Mills is still undergoing repairs to his car from the heavy incident back in October. Along with 2015 Series 3rd Place finisher Lee Partridge who is also absent from the field – though hopefully car owner John Goddard will bring the trusty #27 back onto the grid soon!

So a great weekend is coming up at Phillip Island, come on down and enjoy the sights, smells, and the sounds of some fantastic close racing!

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