This weekend sees the fourth round of the Victorian State Race Series being held at Sandown Raceway, with the 944 Challenge again competing as one of the staple categories of the series – for the first time with the backing of Porsche Australia on board!
Here is a preview of the competitors who will be on track this weekend:
#1 Cameron Beller – Cameron had two perfect rounds to start the year, but WInton was even more of a horror for him than 2018 – this year returning zero points for the weekend. While he is able to fall back on the dropped worst round rule for the 944 series keeping him on top in that pointscore, he has slipped to second in the Victorian State Circuit Racing Championship Points with only two rounds remaining. He will hope to replicate his perfect Sandown performance from Round 1 as he looks to claw back the points deficit.
#5 Lyndon Watson – Lyndon had a perfect Saturday at Winton, scoring Pole Position and the Race 1 win, but had to settle for second and third positions on Sunday. Nevertheless, he now sits second in the 944 points after factoring in the dropped worst round after his non attendance at Sandown at Round 1. Would this put him at a disadvantage this weekend against his rivals?
#28 Tony Westaway – Tony had an outstanding weekend at Winton with two race victories securing him the Round win also – the first wins of his career. With a lead in the Vic State Series Pointscore, Tony will be holding nothing back as he looks to stay at the top of the points ladder at the end of the weekend.
#4 Ken Rowland – Ken also had a great weekend at Winton, with a solid weekend ending on the highest point as he finished second in the final race, setting the fastest lap across the three races – these results moving him up to fourth in the series points.
#3 Mark Taubitz – What started out as a great weekend at Winton for Taubitz with a front row qualifying start converting to an early race 1 lead all came unravelled in a matter of laps as his car lost speed and he was hauled in and quickly overtaken by the lead pack – pulling into the pits and out for the weekend – dropping him back to fifth position from second in the points. A borrowed engine courtesy of Andrew Jackman sees Taubitz on the grid for this round, and looking to make amends for his WInton disaster.
#99 John Kennedy – John had another great weekend at WInton scoring two more podium finishes, and now heads to Sandown for his first outing at the fast Melbourne circuit. Johns car was on the podium at Round 1 when driven by Paul Crocitti – and John will be keen to get the car onto the top step of the podium this weekend and move into the top five in the points.
#27 Toni Andreevski – Toni’s strong season continued at WInton as he consistently improves during his weekends racing – seeing him into seventh position in the series pointscore after the three rounds so far. Toni will aim to improve on his Round 1 results at Sandown and will have his targets set on some top 5 finishes this weekend.
#66 Tim Wolfe – TIm also improved during the course of his Winton weekend, and a good collection of results in the top ten despite a huge moment resulting in a spin in race 2 sees Tim sitting in eighth in the points. Returning to a circuit he has raced at for the first time will no doubt benefit Tim this weekend and he will also look to improve on his results at Round 1.
#64 Keith Marriner – Keith again started his weekend slowly at Winton but improved during the course of the running and left the weekend sitting in ninth position in the points. Keith will look to emulate some of his previous good form at Sandown to move up int he points come the end of the weekend.
#31 Adam Brewer – Adam is another who had a frustrating weekend at Winton with mechanical dramas resulting in two DNF’s. Adam had a strong outing at Sandown at Round 1 dicing in and around the top 5 – some reliability should see him repeating that form this weekend as he has his eyes on his first podium finish.
#46 Jim Mitchell – Jim had a better weekend at Winton than he had at Phillip Island, with no reliability issues to speak of and sees him in eleventh position in the points. Jim will look for some solid top ten results at what is traditionally his strongest circuit on the schedule to move into the top ten in the points.
#98 Pedr James – Pedr was back aboard his old faithful white and green car at Winton, and showed great speed with Pedr on the lead pack all weekend – but his weekend was soured by an off track excursion in Race 2 and a spin on the last lap of the final race while sitting fifth resulting in a DNF. Pedr will hope to string a series of three finishes together this weekend and hope to move into the top ten in the series points.
#20 Andrew Jackman – Andrew had a so-so weekend at Winton, struggling for ultimate pace while complaining of understeer hampering his pace, Three finishes nevertheless moved him up to thirteenth in the points after missing the Sandown round at the start of the year.
#32 John Vainoras – John had his highest pointscore for the year at Winton, finishing all three races and battling hard all weekend with Andy Jones. Round 1 at Sandown was a testing time for John so he will look to make up for that this weekend and have some good battles with his competitors this weekend.
#21 Clayton Sinclair – Clayton also had mechanical issues at Winton and was forced to sit out Sundays action – hopefully some better fortune will fall Claytons way this weekend at Sandown as he looks to improve on his best results so far from Round 2 at Phillip Island and move up in the points.
#12 Marius Catrina – Marius returns after missing round 3 at Winton, and some good finishes will move him up ion the points order. Marius qualified a fantastic sixth at Round 1 at Sandown so he will hope to replicate or improve that performance this weekend and back it up with three strong finishes.
#8 Dick Howe – A bad weekend at Winton for Dick, suffering two DNF’s and unable to start the final race after an off track excursion on the final lap of race 2 caused some exhaust damage that was unable to be fixed for Race 3. Dick’s season has been hampered with bad luck – no more so than at Sandown Round 1 when he blew an engine in qualifying. Making it to grid for Race 1 will therefore be an improvement for the veteran as he looks to get the second half of his season off to a better start than the first!
#14 Paul Greer – A welcome return is Paul Greer in his stunning Gold 944 – fingers crossed Paul has gotten to the bottom of his fuel issues which saw him able to finish some of the races at Phillip Island, despite the problems still present – perhaps in a lesser capacity. At a track he has produced great results in the past, hopefully Paul will be able to be a factor up the front of the field this weekend.
#97 Rob Holding – Another welcome return to the circuit for the first time in 2019 is Rob Holding – with a fresh engine on board Rob will no doubt be dicing up the point end of the field after his impressive performances the last few times on track in 2018.
#53 Peter Doherty – Peter is yet to be confirmed for the weekends entry list, but will be at the circuit on Friday to test and hope he has solved the niggles he has experienced on board his car the past few rounds. Fingers crossed Peter has exorcised the cars demons and will be on the grid with the 19 other cars on Saturday,
Missing this weekend will be the two orange cars – Andy Jones who is out of action for the next few rounds after having an operation on his achilles, and Michael Westaway who is heading overseas when the round is taking place.
The forecast is for a clear Friday and Saturday – but there are some showers predicted for Sunday… and there is always some extra excitement with some water added…
944 Qualifying kicks off at 11:40am on Saturday morning with Race 1 at 3:40pm. Come on down to Sandown Raceway for a great weekend of racing!