One more sleep until the 944 Challenge field set off to begin Qualifying for Round 3 of the 2019 season at Winton Raceway. 18 cars and drivers are entered which bodes for a great weekend’s racing ahead. Let’s go through the drivers entered for the round.
#1 Cameron Beller – Cameron has had two perfect rounds so far, but returns to the scene of what was to be his downfall in his quest for the 2018 Vic State Series Title in Winton Raceway. He will look to keep his perfect streak for 2019 going and avoid the dramas of last year.
#3 Mark Taubitz – Two consistent rounds so far in 2019 sees Mark second in the pointscore despite struggling with power on the two high speed tracks. He will look to return to the podium this weekend at Winton where power is less of a top level concern.
#28 Tony Westaway – Tony finished third outright for the weekend at Phillip Island which sees him move up the pointscore into third position outright. Tony had some issues at his Winton appearance last year, so will look to have a smoother run on his return to the regional circuit in his attempt to move further up the standings.
#27 Toni Andreevski – Toni continues his strong start to the 2019 season which after scoring a top 5 result at Phillip Island, sees him up to fourth in the points. This will surprisingly be his first visit to race in the 944’s at Winton Raceway, will he be able to get to grips with the tight layout to maintain his championship position?
#64 Keith Marriner – Keith had an ordinary start to the weekend at Phillip Island, but improved for Sunday which sees him in fifth position in the points after the first two rounds. Winton was the scene of Keith’s best round result last year, he will be keen to replicate that result this weekend!
#31 Adam Brewer – Adam is another driver competing in the 944 Challenge for the first time at Winton this weekend. Some mechanical issues hampered Adam in Race 1 at Phillip Island which saw him slip a couple of positions in the points – fingers crossed for a reliable weekend for Adam as he will aim to claw back some of the lost positions.
#66 Tim Wolfe – Continuing the theme of drivers having their first outing in a 944 Challenge race at Winton this weekend, Tim is another who will be doing just that along with Toni & Adam. A DNF in Race 2 at PI cost Tim some points, but he is still sitting a credible seventh after the two rounds.
#4 Ken Rowland – Ken had a weekend to forget at Phillip Island and will look to get his season back on track at Winton Raceway – a track where he has previously shown some very impressive speed at in the past – can he get himself back on the podium again this weekend?
#98 Pedr James – Pedr unfortunately had some engine issues at the end of the final race at PI, which will see him possibly return to his ‘old faithful’ white & green car for this weekend – Pedr also had good speed at this last Winton outing behind the wheel of that car and will be aiming to have a reliable weekend and push into the top 5 over the weekend.
#5 Lyndon Watson – Lyndon had a good return to track at Phillip Island after missing Round 1, and after a good showing at Winton in 2018 which was unfortunately hampered by a failed fuel pump at the end of Race 2, Lyndon will hope to get onto the podium this weekend and vault further up the pointscore.
#46 Jim Mitchell – Jim had a weekend to forget at Phillip Island last round, but will be energised with the memory of a strong showing at Winton in 2018 when he finished fifth outright at the State Round and fourth in the reverse grid race at the Shannons Round in August to encourage him for the upcoming round.
#21 Clayton Sinclair – Clayton is yet another having is first race at Winton aboard a 944 – and he will want to wipe away his most recent memory of pitting in the final race at Phillip Island to address a black flag… which wasn’t intended for him… Good pace as the weekend continued for Clayton will give him some optimism to have a strong showing this weekend.
#8 Dick Howe – A strong showing from Dick at Phillip Island last round after the disappointment of his engine failure in qualifying at Sandown saw him finish fifth for the round despite a race 1 spin in the wet dropped him down the pack, he was able to move up to dice in the leading pack in the final race, ultimately just missing out on a podium. He will look to continue the momentum from that round.into Round 3.
#33 Andy Jones – Andy is yet another first timer at Winton, and after suffering some car issues at Phillip Island will be back on track and ready for a reliable weekend as he will come to grips with Winton for the first time under race conditions.
#32 John Vainoras – John had a more encouraging weekend at Phillip Island, finishing all three races which was a good result after a troubling Sandown. Showing a good increase in pace across the weekend, John will hope that momentum continues at Winton this weekend.
#99 John Kennedy – The sixth driver having his first race weekend at Winton will be John Kennedy – fresh off a fantastic debut performance at Phillip Island which saw him snare a pair of podium finishes before being black flagged in the final race. John will hope he can maintain the impressive showing this weekend around the twisty Winton circuit.
#20 Andrew Jackman – Andrew has bit the bullet and upgraded to the Motec ECU unit for this round, and will be looking to have a good showing after preparing the car for the round ahead. A good showing at Winton last year is something he will be looking to further improve on this weekend.
#45 Michael Westaway – Michael had a stunning qualifying at Phillip Island putting the car third on the grid, but unfortunately it was downhill from there as he suffered mechanical issues bringing his weekend to a premature close. There were similar issues for Michael at Winton last year, so he will be hoping they have been well and truly solved to avoid a repeat performance from then.
A few drivers are missing this weekend from Phillip Island, with Marius Catrina, Peter Doherty, Paul Greer, Campbell Hammersley-Alderson & Paul Crocitti not entered for this round – hopefully we will see these drivers back for Round 4 at Sandown in 5 weeks time.
The forecast is for no rain this weekend, but there is always some extra excitement with some water added…
944 Qualifying kicks off at 10:45am on Saturday morning with Race 1 at 3pm. Come on down to Winton Motor Raceway for a great weekend of racing!