Round 3 of the 2016 Season for the 944 Challenge is this weekend, with a clear forecast at this stage, we will surely be in for another fast and action packed three races!
Lets have a look at the drivers that entered for this weekends round at Sandown, with another few new and returning members lining up on the grid again for this round, and three different winners from three races last round, 944 Challenge Racing is looking strong!
#15 Vince Misuraca. Vince leads the 944 series after two rounds after a clean sweep at Round 1 at Winton, and a solid result at PI with a 2nd place finish in Sundays final race.
#55 Cameron Beller. Cam was able to take round honours at PI after Pole and a win in the opening race at PI, and sits just behind Vince in the 944 Series.
#3 Jason Miller. A breakout weekend for Jason, taking his first race win in the final at PI after being with the front pack all weekend – he now leads the State Series Points after Round 1 and sits fourth in 944 Series points.
#50 Tony Westaway. Tony had a much better weekend at PI than he did at Winton and was again on the pace all weekend, which has boosted him to 5th in the pointscore going into Sandown.
#13 Jim Gallagher. Jim had a breakout weekend at PI with a career best finish of 4th in Sundays final race, some great speed coming from the #13 Porsche, he will hope that speed continues at Sandown this weekend!
#98 Pedr James. Pedr continued his strong and consistent start to 2016 with another good weekend at PI, and he sits 7th in the 2016 series points after two rounds. He will be hoping for another good result this weekend at Sandown.
#22 Brad Winter. Brad continued his acclimatisation to the 944 series at PI, including his first wet race behind the wheel of the Bradwin Roofing car. This weekend will be Brads first Round at Sandown. Plenty of speed is in the #22 car, so look for him to be a factor this weekend.
#45 Michael Westaway. Michael had a less than stellar weekend at PI after his fantastic Winton Round, and he will be hoping to turn that back around again at Sandown and leave the issues from PI in his mirror!
#12 Marius Catrina. Marius was only able to compete in the first race at PI, so suffered a little in the points as a result – Sandown is a track that usually suits car #12 better so he will be looking for a good weekend ahead!
#74 Mark Taubitz. After damaging a gearbox in Practice at Winton which parked the Zantek machine for the weekend, Mark was able to bounce back with a weekend which improved as it went on with a 10th, 9th and 8th in the final after qualifying in 12th. He will be hoping for a better weekend at Sandown to move up from his 8th placing in the state series pointscore.
#17 Ryan Woods. One of two Drivers who made their debut with the 944 series was Ryan Woods – and what a debut it was! Some fantastic driving and a great strategy call for the wet Sunday race saw Ryan slice his way to the front of the field and win Race 2 – unfortunately, a DNF in the final race hurt his overall pointscore. But the speed is promising, you may see Ryan practicing his rain dance in the paddock this weekend!
#8 Richard Howe. Series veteran Dick Howe has cured the vibration in the #8 Porsche which had hampered his speed of late and prevented him from being able to compete in the races at Winton – a solid result to 7th in race 1 was promising, before some engine woes with a persistent misfire caused him to retire from both of Sundays races. Hopefully he has a trouble free Sandown where he had a strong round last year!
#41 Ken Rowland. Ken debuted his new car at Phillip Island and had a couple of small teething issues, but saw a lot of promise in the new car and will be looking at Sandown to develop the new steed more to move his way up the grid.
#18 Ross Millar. One of three returning drivers is Ross Millar – the Blue car has had a freshen up , and Rossco is chomping at the bit to get back behind the wheel at Sandown for his series return, the first time racing since 2014.
#27 John Goddard. Another driver returning to the 944 series for the first time since 2014 is veteran John Goddard – although his car was no stranger at the front last year with Lee Partridge behind the wheel of Car #27. John will no doubt revel with the improvements made to the car in his year away from the steering duties and be making the most of his experience to be challenging up the front!
#38 Brent Rose. The third of the series returnees is Brent Rose behind the wheel of the Melbourne’s Cheapest Cars 944. Nothing cheap about this rocket though, as Brent took two victories on Sunday at this round last year in the last time the car was at a 944 Challenge round – he will be looking to continue on like nothing has changed this weekend and will certainly be at the pointy end of the field.
#64 Keith Marriner. Another debutante to the the 944 series this weekend, Keith Marriner has taken his newly purchased 944 and spruced it up superbly, and will be looking to mix things up in the 944 field for his first weekend of doorhandle to doorhandle racing! We welcome Keith aboard for the rest of the 2016 season!
No shows at Sandown will be Chris Lewis-Williams – an event clash with the Winton V8 Supercar round means the Benalla Auto Club CEO has to miss his first round in about 40 years… missing for this round will also be John Stanic who had a great return to the 944 series at PI, and will hopefully wheel out the #47 again for the July Sandown round.
Paul Crocitti, after hurting an engine in race 3 at Winton while having his strongest weekend to date, Paul is avoiding rushing the completion of the car and will concentrate on his series return in July. Also hoping for a series return at Sandown in July is West Australian Ben Raphael after a successful initiation to 944 racing at PI.
Unfortunately, Overall 2015 944 Series winner Adam Mills is still undergoing repairs to his car from the heavy incident back in October, but will hopefully return soon, along with some more series debutantes at the July round. Before that though – a fantastic weekend at Sandown beckons – come on down and enjoy the sights, smells, and the sounds of some fantastic close racing!