11 drivers elected to test at Sydney Motorsport Park last Friday in searing heat, the East Coast of Australia is in a heatwave! Temperatures climbed to 44C but the cars managed to keep circulating.
Western Sydney Motorsport had seven cars here, their own Mustangs of Craig Thompson, Grant Thompson, and Craig Woods (Blake Sciberras is due to test in Queensland). Plus they had client cars join them from Jaie Robson, Ben Walsh and Charlotte Poynting.
At the other end of the pitlane was the Rinkin Racing team of Mike Rinkin, James Duckworth the category current champion, and two client cars that have joined them of Scott O’Keefe and Adam Cassuico.
Testing is ultra important before the season begins, and no more so than this year where the introduction of a new tyre manufacturer in Kumho – a new tyre and compound is being tested by everyone, also new this season are a category standard brake package from RDA Brakes, this will see everyone on the same brake packages, making for an even more level playing field in an already restricted category.
Only a handful of the cars were in their 2017 Livery and a number of the drivers were being very coy about the colours they’ll be running for the first round at Clipsal in a few weeks time, so as they say watch this space, as soon as they are launched they will be shared on the ARC Facebook page.
The teams ran different car setups over the day with some cars in SMP setup and some set for Clipsal so they could run comparisons.
The Media team shot some Facebook Live videos during the day and you can watch these below at your leisure.
Charlotte Poynting: “Its HOT damn HOT” the car temps are going up, especially when we come in, its almost too hot to test! The off seasons been tough, but I’m really happy to be back in the car.
Craig Thompson: “I’m in the new car so I’m short shifting looking after the car not putting the car under too much stress. Our aspiration for this year for the Western Sydney Motorsport team is to win as many races as we can and take the championship – simple!
Grant Thompson: “I’m pretty excited actually, Ive gone the fastest around here I ever have, first time back in the car since NZ – feeling really good about Adelaide, and with today being so damn hot its good preparation for the first round.
Mike Rinkin: “Amazing I’ve learnt more today than ever before, its fantastic I’m not going any faster (laughs) but at least we know what I’ve got to change to go quicker!”
James Duckworth: “I’m in the old car but we are testing the new brake package, which for us isn’t too hard as its what we used last year, RDA Brakes are our sponsors! Plus we are trying the new Kumho’s this is taking a bit longer but it’s the same for everyone”.
Ben Walsh: “Really looking forward to 2017 again with WSM this time in a Mustang – also really proud to be returning with my sponsors from last year in Dr Ink Collective Care and Raceline Motorsport Racewear – the series is looking like its going to be a super competitive year, the whole team has worked extremely hard in the off season to lift the bar.
Jeff Watters: “After strong performance toward the end of last year I’m looking forward to further improvements in the number 96 Cure for MND Foundation Nissan being prepared by the highly successful WSM team”.
Jaie Robson: “First time in my new car, can’t wait to get to Clipsal, first time on a street circuit, thanks to WSM whom I’m running with and big thanks to my main sponsor 6star – and dad J”.
Now the class turns to the first round for the 2017 Aussie Racing Cars Championship which as mentioned is the amazing Clipsal 500 alongside the Supercars – the class was absent last year and the call to have them back was strong from the fans. A field of around 40 cars is expected to put on a world class display of competitive racing, once again fans will be able to get close the cars and teams with the pits being accessible to the public. And of course, the four and five cars wide racing around the amazing Victoria Park circuit is sure to have the fans on their feet. The class never fails to shine at this event, it’s one of the teams and drivers most favourite events.
Keep an eye on the Aussie Racing Cars website and Facebook page for updates and more. This year will feature a Facebook LIVE session each day from every event, you’ll be able to pass on messages or ask questions of your favourite drivers.
The 5 Facebook LIVE videos we shot on the Friday Test Day.
Aussie Racing Cars (ARC) is proud to announce that Kumho Tyre has been selected as its exclusive competition tyre for 2017 season and beyond.
For the first time in nearly 20 years, the ARC will introduce a brand new tyre to the category and all indications are that the new tyre is set to get ARC drivers’ hearts racing. A bunch of teams have fallen in love with the new Kumho V700 tyre following pre-season test sessions in the lead up to the Championship opener at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide (2-5 March).
“It‘s great to welcome Kumho Tyre as a major category sponsor and the Official Tyre of the Aussie Racing Cars Championship for 2017 and beyond”, said ARC Category Manager, Brad Ward. “As part of the continual development of the category, it was time to explore other tyre options and after extensive testing of various products the Kumho V700 has been selected as we believe it is the best product on the market. We are very excited about having Kumho on board and can’t wait for a huge future partnership of Aussie Racing Cars competition with Kumho”.
According to Kumho Tyre Australia’s Rachael Sinai, the ARC forms a key part of Kumho’s Motorsports strategy. “Kumho is proud to be closely aligned with the Aussie Racing Cars and we are very pleased to expand our tarmac motorsports presence this year and see a huge long-term future with the fantastic Aussie Racing Cars teams, drivers and management.”
“The Aussie Racing Cars has a brilliant calendar of high profile events that enables Kumho Tyre to promote our brand and tyre products to a massive audience all year long throughout Australia and also New Zealand” said Miss Sinai.
Kumho will be at every ARC event to support the 40 plus car fields with tyre fitting and advice services and the Kumho branding will be featured on the front bumper of all Aussie Racing Cars on track.
ARC has secured a 7 round series exclusively with the Supercars Championship and has secured full television coverage of every event in 2017.
2017 Aussie Racing Cars Championship Calendar
|1||March 2 – 5||Clipsal 500, Adelaide||Adelaide, SA|
|2||April 7 – 9||Tyrepower Tasmania Supercars Supersprint||Symmons Plains, TAS|
|3||May 5 – 7||Perth Supercars Supersprint||Perth, WA|
|4||July 7 – 9||Townsville 400||Townsville, QLD|
|5||August 18 – 20||SMP Supersprint||Sydney, NSW|
|6||Oct 20 -22||Gold Coast 600||Gold Coast, QLD|
|7||Nov 24 – 26||Coates Hire Newcastle 500||Newcastle, NSW|
Aussie Racing Cars will have live updates, including video blogs and post race interviews on Twitter and Facebook throughout the racing season.
For any further information or to request images, please contact:
Aussie Racing Cars Category manager
Mobile: 0404 052 878
Kumho Tyre Marketing Co-ordinator
Mobile: 0499 000 422
The current Aussie Racing Car Champion James Duckworth is back to defend his title in 2017 and he’s continuing his successful association with the Rinkin Racing Team.
Duckworth has been extremely busy building a new car for the 2017 series. “Everything will be revealed in the coming weeks”, “I’ve been keeping myself prepped by jumping in and out of a “410 SprintCar” said Duckworth.
“My 2017 aspiration is to try to be the first driver in over 10 years to win consecutive titles, I also excited to welcome back my key sponsors RDA Brakes, my105.com.au and Formaz Parts Plus” he said.
Last year Duckworth only won one of the 6 round series (round 7 at Pukekohe was a non-championship round) at Sydney Motorsport Park, but his consistency over the year paid off with a second place at Queensland Raceway, he had two third places (Clipsal and Phillip Island), but only managed fifth at Darwin. Some might say he played it safe at the last round in New Zealand at Hampton Downs with a seventh placing – but that was all he needed to do to take the top spot.
Last Friday Duckworth spent the day testing at Sydney Motorsport Park, albeit in the old car as his new Aussie Racing car wasn’t quite ready for the test day.
The 2017 Championship is being contested over seven round this year, and many drivers are saying it’s the best calendar the pocket rockets have ever had. Four of the rounds will be contested on street circuits, undoubtedly making it also the toughest year in Aussie Racing Cars.
Micheal Rinkin the team owner and driver from Rinkin Racing said “its fantastic to have James join us again for the new series, I learnt a lot from him last year and I’m sure I will again this year, we will do everything in our power as a team to help him achieve his goals for this year”.
The 2017 Aussie Racing car series kicks off in just over two weeks at one of the biggest Supercar events, the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. The Aussie cars expect to field almost 40 cars with 10 makes and models set to hit the track on the Thursday morning.
Keep an eye on our website and Facebook Page for more stories and images from the 2017 Championships, as well as the Facebook Live sessions from each day at the track.
New CAMARO & New MANAGER
After last season racing with the Duckworth’s, team owner/driver of Rinkin Motorsport, Micheal Rinkin said he learnt so much about what he really should not do and had a quick realisation he is better off concentrating on only driving at the track. “I do all the carbs and bits at home, but with all our businesses and another three coming on this year I am extremely time poor and not 21 anymore so if this is going to be fun, something needs to be done” Rinkin said.
“After speaking with my wife Gina she said why you don’t just hire someone to free up your time so I thought about it seriously and decided if I was going to pay someone I wanted the best!”
“With the vast improvement in Western Sydney Motorsport last year I spoke to Craig and it was obvious they had the man with experience in Formula 1, Supercars, Sedans and Aussie Racing Cars and more so I asked if I could approach him about looking after me next year as I needed an experienced operator, so as of now we can announce that Terry Bull from Terry Bull Racing will manage Rinkin Motorsports’ asphalt division, both Mechanically and operationally”.
Rinkin Motorsport will be joined by Nissan Financial Services again in 2017 as well as the Muswellbrook Cinema.
The first car is already being checked at Terry Bull Racing and the spare ones will follow. Mike has approached James Duckworth to do some testing for and with the team to help get the lingo right, and then Mike believes it’s all on himself, which is where the biggest improvement is to be found.
“As for the question of teams I have been approached by four or five experienced drivers but I think we will just see how it goes at present with what we have, we would love to race with James and his family again, hopefully they can sort out their sponsors and timetable to be able to do the whole series, of course pending his work commitments and the Sprintcar taking up a lot of time” noted Rinkin.
The team are ready to hit the track running for 2017, the Aussie Racing Car 7 event series kicks off with the Clipsal 500, one of the biggest events on the Supercars Calendar.
Keep an eye on Rinkin Motorsports Facebook Page for all their updates of the cars, the team and the events.
After all the racing across two countries and 5 states and territories was all said and done the following stood out from the rest as the class winners for 2016.
1st Outright – James Duckworth 292pts
2nd Outright – Craig Woods 285pts
3rd Outright – Kel Treseder 281pts
4th Outright – Ben Walsh 270pts
5th Outright – Brendon Pingel 264pts
1st Ben Walsh 300pts
2nd Grant Ludbey 300pts (countback)
3rd Craig Thompson 282pts
4th Grant Thompson 281pts
5th Leigh Bowler 275pts
1st Brendon Tucker 302pts
2nd Jeff Watters 294pts
3rd Glenn McNamara 293pts
4th Michael Rinkin 280pts
5th Ian Chivas 224pts
1st Kel Treseder 303pts
2nd Zac Best 286pts
3rd Leigh Bowler 266pts
4th Reece Chapman 248pts
5th Harley Haber 231pts
1st Ruth Bowler 295pts
2nd Charlotte Poynting 255pts
3rd Emma Clark 250pts
4th Madison Dunston 145pts
5th Alyssa Claperton 50pts
1st The Torque Team 298pts
2nd Western Sydney Motorsport 297pts
3rd Sean Rose Motorsport 293pts
4th Hertz – WSM Advantage 288pts
5th Rinkin Motorsport 278pts
The 2016 Round by Round point scores can be found here 2016 Aussie Racing Cars Championship Results
Sunday Wrap Round 7 Pukekohe Park Raceway
Race Three saw the top ten starters reversed on the grid, normally there would be a full reverse grid but it was deemed the track is too fast and mayhem may ensue! Chris Stevenson (Hertz Camaro) was on pole but got swamped in the first few laps dropping back to 9th by flag fall, Kyle Clews (Darrell Lea STIX / Rinkin Racing Nissan Altima) started well and lead the race for a couple of laps chasing hard was Angus Fogg (propertytutors.com Holden Cruze), Grant Ludbey (The Torque Team Euro GT) and Blake Sciberras (Millennium Building Group Mustang).
Sciberras made a jump on the field on lap three and took the lead through to the chequered flag, on the final lap Kel Treseder (KKP Motorsport Camaro) made a lunge to pass Sciberras into the back chicane but came unstuck and locked up sliding into Sciberras causing him to leave the track and re-join at the hairpin, “I charged up the inside but couldn’t pull it up and ran into Blake, I’ve been over to apologise for my mistake” said Treseder after the race. This was Sciberras’ first win in the Aussie Racing Cars Championship, “that was a tough race but really happy to take the win” said Sciberras.
Treseder finished second after a great run from fifth, behind was James Duckworth (RDA Brakes / Rinkin Racing Nissan Altima) and Grant Ludbey and Peter Carr (Erina Fair Medical Centre Toyota Aurion), with Brendon Pingel (Spirit of Lockyer Holden Cruze) completing the top six. Mark Tarrant (Tuggeranong Trans & Brake) failed to finish in his Ford Coupe after the clutch failed and he lost drive, an engine swap was required before the last race.
The final race for the 2016 Series was another standout performance by Western Sydney Motorsports youngster Blake Sciberras starting out of third he remained there for half the race before working his way past Carr and then Treseder with three laps to spare. Treseder held out Carr to secure second spot and Outright Winner for the weekend.
Sciberras was second for the round with James Duckworth third overall. Carr came fourth in the last race with Craig Woods behind him and Grant Ludbey in sixth completing a positive weekend for himself and The Torque Team. Brendan Pingel failed to finish after contact early in the race that saw apparent damage to the front left wheel sending him off the track.
Saturday Wrap Round 7 Pukekohe
The Aussie Racing Cars had two races yesterday around the exciting Pukekohe Park Raceway and again without fail the racing was fast, bumpy and very entertaining, the Kiwi crowd have been fantastic and have embraced the class tremendously. All day long the ARC pits have been filled with fans keen to get a look at Australia’s largest one make series.
The newly crowned 2016 Champion James Duckworth got his weekend off to a good start, having qualified fourth he soon moved forward to take control of the race and by lap four was setting the pace and remained in front for the 12 laps, hard on his heels was Kel Treseder and Craig Woods, both hungry for the win, at flag fall Treseder kept Woods behind him. In fourth was Wood’s team mate Blake Sciberras with Peter Carr rounding out the top five.
The Pukekohe track very much suits the Aussie Racing Cars and this was displayed during both races with the classes unique pack racing 2-3 wide through many of the 11 turns.
In Race Two the same three protagonists were fighting for the lead with multiple changes through the race. Woods, Treseder and Duckworth were all determined to get top spot on the podium despite this event being a non-championship event.
Duckworth and Treseder got the jump on Woods and went into turn one side by side, Woods beat his team mate Sciberras off the line with Brendon Pingel right behind them. On the second lap Grant Ludbey had a huge slide through turn one with full opposite lock half way through the corner.
Woods got by Duckworth on the fourth lap to then lead the rest of the race from Duckworth with Treseder just behind him, Carr was home in fourth followed by Sciberras, with Pingel in sixth.
Friday Wrap Pukekohe Park Raceway Round 7
The Aussie Racing Cars put on a great display to the Pukekohe Park visitors yesterday, the day started out wet but the pocket rockets were the fifth class on the track so it had dried out mostly. In short time the fastest drivers had the lap times tumbling.
Brendon Pingel (RJ’s Licorice Holden Cruze) was fastest for practice from Western Sydney Motorsports Blake Sciberras in the Mustang with Peter Carr (Erina Fair Medical Centre Toyota Aurion) in third. Pingel’s time of 1:15.1325 became the benchmark but was soon to tumble in qualifying.
A completely dry track greeted the cars for qualifying, the track had seemed to rubbered up well so the track was fast, “bumpy but fast” several drivers remarked.
Early in the session newly crowned champion James Duckworth (RDA Brakes / Rinkin Racing Nissan Altima) set the pace with Sciberras and Craig Woods (Western Sydney Motorsport Mustang) on his heels, also chasing hard and looking for a few extra tenths of speed was Carr.
The session was interrupted halfway through when Ruth Bowler (Ruthie Racer Racing Ford Coupe) came unstuck at turn one and was unable to re-join.
When the green flag came out for the session to re-start the Mustangs of Western Sydney Motorsport’s Craig Woods and Sciberras recorded the quickest times, Woods set a new qualifying lap record of 1:13.6844 from his team mates 1:13.7963, they were the only two cars to crack the 1:13’s. Kel Treseder (KKP Motorsport Camaro) was third fastest, starting next to him in race one will be Duckworth. In fifth place was Pingel with Kyle Clews (Darrell Lea STIX / Rinkin Racing Nissan Altima) rounding out the top six places. Carr could only manage 8th with Grant Ludbey (The Torque Team Euro GT) quicker in 7th.
Joining the class for the first time this year and showing he is still fast is the 2014 Champion Darren Chamberlain who came home in 9th.
The Aussie Racing Cars have two races today, the first is at 11.05am with race two set to start at 1.25pm (local times) just prior to the Supercars first race here at Pukekohe.
Race Four Hampton Downs Rnd 6
Race four was the final points race for the 2016 Aussie Racing Cars Championship and without a doubt it was one of the most hard fought races the class has had all year. Craig Thompson (Western Sydney Motorsport Mustang) spun on the first lap that unfortunately saw three or four cars retire from the race.
However up the front of the field it was an exciting multi-pass race with Kel Treseder (KPP Motorsport Camaro), Craig Woods (Western Sydney Motorsport Mustang) and Peter Carr (Erina Fair Medical Centre Toyota Aurion) running two and three wide with passing into turn one happening just about every lap and at many of the other passing opportunities that the Hampton Downs circuit provides. All three drivers showed immense car control throughout the race.
Treseder was the eventual winner but only by a whisker or maybe a partial front splitter with a margin on the line of just 0.040 of a second from Woods with Carr only 0.3 of a second behind. Blake Sciberras (Western Sydney Motorsport Mustang) started out of fourth and remained there for the entire 8 lap race. The top five was completed by Ben Walsh (Dr Ink Tattoo Removal Camaro).
Angus Fogg (The Property Tutors Nissan Altima) was the first Kiwi home for sixth place, Torque Team driver Grant Ludbey was placed seventh in his Euro GT from James Duckworth (RDA Brakes/Rinkin Racing Nissan Altima). Brendon Tucker (Variety Group Camaro) had another great race to remain in the top 10 with 9th place and the out-going champion Brendon Pingel (Spirit of Lockyer Holden Cruze) took 10th.
We will post a weekend wrap up soon once we have all the final points tally for the entire year from the point scorers. Along with more posts from Pukekohe this coming weekend for the non-points round.
Race Three Report Hampton Downs Rnd 6
In the normal tradition for Aussie Racing Cars the third race was a reverse grid staggered start, the 30 cars were split into groups of 10 based upon lap times and race results from race one and two, with an interval of 15 seconds before the second and third groups started.
The race got off to a good start until two turn where Ian Chivas spun out of the first group to the edge of the sand trap, double yellows were brought out and he was towed out without the need of the safety car, soon after Kyle Clews repeated the Chivas spin in the same fashion and was again pulled from the same sand trap under yellows.
Charlotte Poynting moved from 8th to the lead early in the race and managed to hold that until flag fall. The faster cars at the back were working their way to the front “it was tough work with some close calls” said Western Sydney Motorsports Blake Sciberras after he started from 27th and worked his way up to 8th at flag fall. Kel Treseder and Craig Woods started off the back of the grid in the third group and managed their way to third for Woods and fourth for Treseder. Glenn McNamara had a clean race and finished a creditable second spot 3.2 seconds’ shy of Poynting.
Brendon Tucker rounded out the first five from Peter Carr and Brendon Pingel in sixth and seventh, ninth and tenth places went to James Duckworth and Sean Rose, with Duckworth banking just the right amount of points to keep his championship lead alive.
Race Two Report Hampton Downs Rnd 6
The second race today featured the CAMS Womens Trans-Tasman Challenge between Australia’s Charlotte Poynting and Alyssa Claperton from New Zealand, the ladies lines up One Two on the grid with the balance of the field two grid rows back, prior to the race they jumped out of their cars after the formation lap and Aussie Racing Cars and Hampton Downs owner Tony Quinn interviewed them prior to the race.
Both girls got a great start and lead the field down to turn two where the expected faster cars passed them by, as the race settled in Poynting and Claperton fought hard and fast with both leading each other during the race, with two laps to go Poynting got by Claperton, in a last ditch go Claperton spun at turn 6, “I was having a go but lost it” she said, the crowd enjoyed the race specially when Claperton kept her foot down smoking up the wheels!
Out the front Craig Woods (Western Sydney Motorsport Mustang) took the lead and kept it that way for the rest of the race, Kel Treseder (KPP Motorsport Camaro) chased hard but was unable to gain on Woods, and third for the second time today was Peter Carr (Erina Fair Medical Centre Toyota Aurion), followed by Woods’ team mate Blake Sciberras.
Fifth for this race was Grant Ludbey (The Torque Team Euro GT) who was battling with current series leader James Duckworth (RDA Brakes/Rinkin Racing Nissan Altima).
Full race results to come, they are somewhat mixed up on the timing website!
Race One Report Hampton Downs Rnd 6
The first race of the final round of the Aussie Racing Car Championship went down to the wire, Kel Treseder (KPP Motorsport Camaro) was quickest off the line but closely chased by Peter Carr (Erina Fair Medical Centre Toyota Aurion) and the Mustangs of Craig Woods and Blake Sciberras (Western Sydney Motorsport). “I had enough speed to race at the front, and had a great race with Craig [Woods] in that last lap, I managed to get around him on the outside at turn two, he gave me enough room which is fair, it was a really good race” said Treseder after the race.
Woods managed to get past Treseder late in the race but he fought back to cross the line in first place followed by Woods and Carr. “The car was really good, I just failed to put the car in the right places in the draft, it was really mix mash kind of race, it was really good” said Woods. Sciberras held onto fourth from Ben Walsh (DR Ink Tattoo Removal) who was tailing him for the entire race.
The race was punctuated by two safety cars, Alyssa Claperton in the Team New Zealand Mustang spun at the top of the hill just before the turn 9 hairpin on the first lap spreading the field around her, and a few laps later young Zak Best (Best Leisure Industries Euro GT) came together with Chris Stevenson (Hertz Nissan Altima) on the exit to the same hairpin with Best being towed off the circuit. The current champion Brendan Pingel’s (Spirit of Lockyer Holden Cruze) weekend of woes continued when he broke a drive shaft on the first safety car restart
Practice and Qualifying Friday Hampton Downs
Day one of the final round of the 2016 Aussie Racing Car series at Hampton Downs has gone as planned for some teams but no much for some of the others, 30 cars made the track for the first practice session this morning, there were two red flags during the practice with cars just leaving the track and not being able to restart, not sustaining any damage.
It was a similar situation for the second practice just after lunch. Reports from the drivers is the track is fantastic albeit a bit bumpy through the new section where it rejoins the original layout.
Qualifying was last up for the class today, the track had seen the Australian GT cars run two sessions, along with two New Zealand race classes with the result of the track becoming faster. Clouds threatened throughout the day but it stayed dry for all the on track action.
A number of teams have had some mechanical drama’s during qualifying, Brendan Pingel (Spirit of Lockyer Holden Cruze) only managed two laps before his second gear failed forcing him out, “lucky I got a half decent lap before this” said Pingel whom will start off 13th tomorrow. Kent Quinn (ARC/Hampton Downs Toyota Aurion) had differential issues which saw him only able to qualify in 23rd position. Ruth Bowler reported a vibration through her Ford Coupe and decided to pit rather than risk damaging the car.
Three other teams were spotted changing engines after qualifying including Glenn McNamara (The Torque Team Camaro) and Mike Rinkin (Rinkin Motorsport Nissan Altima) and Chris Stevenson (Hertz Nissan Altima).
After a 30 minute qualifying Kel Treseder (KPP Motorsport Camaro) came out on top with a fastest lap of 1:48.02 from Peter Carr in his Erina Fair Medical Centre Toyota Aurion, Western Sydney Motorsport’s Craig Woods was third fastest in his Mustang with his team mate Blake Sciberras in fourth. The first Kiwi was Angus Fogg in a Nissan Altima carrying Australian Sponsors, after qualifying Fogg was busy peeling the stickers off to make way for a “black” kiwi Aussie Racing Car.
In the ladies competition for the CAMS Trans-Tasman challenge Charlotte Poynting (Newcastle Auto Electrics Camaro) qualified 21st with Alyssa Claperton in the Team New Zealand Mustang in 24th with just over a second separating the two.
The Aussie Racing Cars have two races tomorrow 10.05am and 1pm local NZ time. Race two will be the Trans-Tasman Women’s Challenge, Poynting and Claperton will start off the front of the Grid with the rest of the field two rows back. In quite a change the team mechanic’s will bring the cars from the pits around the circuit to the grid where the drivers will walk out for a photo shoot, they’ll then be belted into the cars for the race to begin
The final round for the 2016 Aussie Racing Cars Championship is at Pukekohe Park Raceway just 50kms south of Auckland City. It’s an invitational, non-points round alongside the Supercars again. This is the first time the class has had an event at the circuit. Brendon Pingel (Spirit of Lockyer Holden Cruze) went for a walk around the track, “it’s fast, it looks very fast with a few bumps to, I’m looking forward to it”.
Without the pressure of season points many of the drivers and teams will be working hard on winning the round points. Pukekohe Park lends itself to close pack racing 2-3 wide from the Aussie Cars, the fast front and back straights will see the fastest drivers diving for position into the esses and the back chicane under late brakes. One place to watch out for will be the esses after the front straight where the drivers have reported the curbing as “interesting” the concrete curb starts out around 5-6inches high with a second curb twice as high just further on.
27 Pocket Rockets are ready to set Pukekohe on fire! The kiwi’s embraced the class at last weekend’s Hampton Downs circuit and they are sure to do the same again this weekend. New Zealanders love motorsport, so much so that Fridays crowd will be bigger than some crowds seen on a Saturday in Australia.
Once again and for the final time this year the Aussie Car pits are open to the public to come a long and have a close look at the cars as well as get to meet the drivers and teams.
After this round the cars will be packed back into the containers for the boat ride home and in the off season will no doubt undergo strip downs in preparation for the first round at the 2017 Clipsal 500.
Keep an eye on our website for both the end of year wrap up report, along with some new exciting media features for 2017.
Missing the first round at Clipsal for Charlotte Poynting was a tough way to start the 2016 series and may have cost her a shot at the Ladies Trophy especially after winning all the other rounds, however from there on for the year Poynting has continued to grow and mature in the championship.
A lot of pressure was loaded onto her for the last round of the series after being selected to represent Australia in the inaugural CAMS Trans-Tasman Women’s Challenge in Race Two at Hampton Downs. Standing for New Zealand was NZV8 racer Alyssa Claperton.
Charlotte has recounted her weekend below.
“What an awesome weekend! After a stressful practice day and being well off the pace I finally found my feet for qualifying which put me off P21 for race 1! “.
“I finished race one in 16th, which meant I started off pole for race 2 for the CAMS Trans-Tasman Women’s Challenge with Alyssa starting off 2nd”.
When the cars rolled onto the grid for the challenge the two girls were lined up one-two with the rest of the field 2 grid rows back, prior to the race start Aussie Racing Cars and Hampton Downs owner Tony Quinn came onto the grid and interview the girls for the big screens and TV.
Charlotte continues, “Alyssa got a great start and I had to work my hardest in the first few laps as we battled constantly! After making a dive into turn one I managed to pull a gap and lead from there on in and winning the challenge”.
“The result from the challenge put me off 9th for race 3 the reverse grid handicap race, I managed to pass 7 cars on the opening lap and by lap three I was in the lead, and that’s where I stayed! Taking home my first ever race win”.
Poynting win was the first female to ever win an Aussie Racing Car race in its 20-year history!
“In race four I started 9th again but got stuck going the long way around a few too many crashes and spent the whole race fighting back through the field finishing in 13th. Overall I finished 10th for the weekend and had the best weekend of racing I have ever had! Bring on Pukekohe”.
At Pukekohe Charlotte will be hoping into Tony Quinns Mustang which sports the new paddle shift gear changing and fuel injection, Darren Chamberlin the owner of Charlottes car will be driving the Camaro Charlottes been driving all year. The cars hit the track on Friday just before lunch for practice and are last up Friday for qualifying with two races Saturday and Sunday.
The 2016 Aussie Racing Car season is about to come to a close, the final round is this weekend in New Zealand at the newly revamped Hampton Downs circuit. For the second consecutive season the pocket rockets have ventured overseas, last year the first round of the series was at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell on New Zealand’s South Island.
Hampton Downs is approximately an hours drive south of Auckland and has just undergone a $25 Million dollar make-over, including a 1.2km extension to the already exciting track, new over pit corporate suites and go-kart track.
31 Aussie Cars will take to the track first up on Friday, two New Zealand drivers will have a small home town advantage, although the new extension is yet to be raced upon. Of course, the Australian drivers have the advantage of have being in their cars all year long.
It’s been a long season which kicked off in March at the Clipsal 500, last year’s champion Brendon Pingel was the victor at the first round continuing his form from 2015, from their we travelled further south to the Phillip Island round, where Kel Treseder took the outright win. The next outing was the exciting Darwin round, always a favourite amongst the ARC fraternity, it was a party from go to woe with Ben Walsh winning this round. The class then headed to Queensland Raceway for the “home” round, after all was said and done Treseder again had the line honours for the weekend. A standalone event at Sydney Motorsport Park saw mixed results for everyone, eventually James Duckworth came out on top.
Now that we head to Hampton Downs Duckworth currently leads the championship on 247pts from Craig Woods (235pts) with Trent Young (231pts) in third place unfortunately Young has not made the trip across the ditch. Time will tell whom can prevail over the rest of the teams on the new New Zealand race track.
A feature this weekend is the CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motorsport) female Trans-Tasman Challenge, representing the Aussies is Charlotte Poynting in her Camaro and standing for New Zealand is Alyssa Clapperton in a Mustang, the battle will commence during the second race on Saturday.
Once all is said and done, and won, the class will have its final swan song at Pukekohe Park Raceway just 20 minutes south of Auckland, the last event is an invitational, non-points round alongside the Supercars again. This is the first-time Aussie Racing Cars have race at this circuit.
Keep an eye on our Facebook Page and Website for updates, results and photos from our media team. Thank you to all the trackside volunteers for all your support this year at each of our rounds, and thanks also to all our fans for your support at the tracks, via TV and our Social Media, we hope you have enjoyed 2016 and we look forward to seeing you again in 2017.