After a successful first round at Highlands Motorsport Park in New Zealand in January, the second round of the Aussie Racing Cars series see us travel overseas again, well kind of!
Round two is at Symonds Plains near Launceston in Tasmania at the end of this month. The 27th – 29th of March will see 27 of our pocket rockets take to the short but high speed flowing circuit in what is certain to be an amazing event, and without a doubt is one of the highlights of the Tasmanian sports diary and a favourite on the ARC calendar.
Brendon Pingel’s Lockyer Valley sponsored car suffered extensive damage in New Zealand and has been striped right back to the rolling chassis ready for Derek Pingel, Brendon’s dad to put the new body on. Another car badly damaged in NZ was the Toyota Aurion of Perenso Racing’s Darren Chamberlin. “Its toast, the car is so badly damaged I won’t be running it for the rest of the year, if ever again!” said Chamberlin.
But Chamberlin has done a deal to run the remainder of the season in the ARC Camaro with Darrell Lea STIX sponsorship, “I’m looking forward to hopping into the Camaro, I really enjoy the Tassie circuit, it’s like no other, you are only on the brakes three times in a lap then flat out!” he commented.
We caught up with a few drivers and asked them what their thoughts were on the next round at Symmons Plains.
Chris Stevenson Advantage Motorsport: I’m buoyed by my improved results already with the new HERTZ Altima, coming into the final race in NZ. I sat 4th in points just through consistency, which is helped by racing up the front again. I’ll be working on extracting more speed from the new car, racing up front out of trouble and staying consistent at Symmons plains and for the rest of the year.
Craig Thompson Western Sydney Motorsports: I’m really looking forward to tackling Symmons Plains in our new Mustangs our team had some real mixed results in round one in NZ with CW (Craig Woods) taking the round win and myself battling major steering problems all weekend after hitting the wall in qualifying. We are expecting a quality field of drivers on the grid in Tasmania. The track has a bit of everything fast straights, mid speed corners and a slow hairpin we will really have to bring out our “A” game.
Jeff Watters Advantage Motorsport: After finally getting to try the new #96 Advantage Motorsport prepared Automobility backed Cruze at Highlands Park, I came to terms with the new car fairly quickly. However, three separate on track racing incidents left the new car needing a lot of loving in preparation for Symmons Plains. The car is ready to go again now and I’m looking forward to the improved braking and straight line speed that the newer car has to start challenging for Masters Cup bragging rights.
Ruth Bowler Armstrong Motorsport: I’m really looking forward to getting to Tassie and Symmons Plains, we are working with “Tassies Fastest Ladies” my support crew for this round are a great bunch of ladies whom are racers too, they’ve come on board with 4-5 sponsors to work with me, and support me at this round. I like the fact that we are supporting not only woman racers but racing in Tasmania in general.
Grant Thompson Western Sydney Motorsports: As a rookie with little experience I’m really looking forward to every round this this year and progressing throughout the year. Tassie is a very unique track and should provide some good racing with my fellow competitors.
The cars arrive in Launceston Wednesday before the race meeting to be forklifted off the trucks and into the waiting pits of the teams, then the real work begins. Friday will see our cars on the track twice for two Practice runs, then Saturday we have qualifying in the morning with two races Saturday afternoon. And Sunday we have two more races.
Don’t forget you can catch all the Aussie Racing Car action along with the V8Supercars coverage on Fox Sports for this round.
Plus our media team will be updating the Facebook page and website with photos and reports from each session.