The Aussie Racing Cars for the past couple of years have travelled overseas for one or two rounds, the New Zealand rounds were a fantastic show for the Kiwis to enjoy, the class has visited both the North and South Islands at three race tracks being Highlands Park, Hampton Downs and Pukekohe Park.
This year’s overseas trip is a bit tongue ‘n’ cheek – so to speak – the championship this week heads to Launceston in Tasmania. The trucks will already be loaded and heading to Melbourne for the sea journey across Bass Straight ready for unpacking on Thursday.
Its two years since the pocket rockets have raced around the small but flowing circuit at Symmons Plains.
In 2015 Adam Gowans was top of the podium for the round, Gowans won’t be at this event, but second placed Adam Uebergang (in 2015) will be as will the 2014 Series Champion who was third at this round in 2015 Darren Chamberlin, Chamberlin has been absent from the Aussie Racing Car Series for a while and is relishing the chance to get behind the wheel of his Toyota Aurion.
There are 30 entries for this round, being the second round for the 2017 series and its without a doubt the top runners from round one at Clipsal will be vying for the champagne from Tassie, James Duckworth along with Kel Treseder, Ben Walsh and Craig Woods plus Blake Sciberras, Jaie Robson and Chris Stevenson are sure to impress and be running three and four wide.
Symmons Plains International Raceway is located on the Midland Highway some 30km south of Launceston. The track is known for several interesting features including its very long back straight with a kink, its extremely tight hairpin bend at the end of the front straight and the unusual placement of the original start/finish line and grid that was on a curve.
The Aussie Racing Car drivers love this round for the flowing fast circuit, but add to this it’s quite wide, wide enough for three or four Aussie Cars, plus this presents a couple of passing lines into each corner, especially at the tightest hairpin in Australia.
It’s unlikely that the class will have to endure the sweltering temps they saw at the first round, in fact it’s looking rather cold this week along with a possible chance of showers over the weekend. Western Sydney Motorsports’ lead driver Craig Woods mentioned after the Clipsal event he was “looking forward to the Tassie round but if it rained it’s a pretty hard place to get around”.
This is the first round that the new Kumho Tyres are being run on a purpose built race track, the current lap record of 1:01.7101 was set on 13/11/2011 by Adrian Cottrell in a Toyota Aurion and everyone will be trying to topple that for bragging rights this weekend.
The Aussie Racing Cars have two practice sessions on Friday, P1 at 11.35am and P2at 1.40pm, it’s the first time in many round since the class has had two Friday practices. Qualifying is at 10.55am for 20mins and Race One is not long after at 12.30pm with the second race 2.55pm, this will make for a very busy day on Saturday. Two more races are set for Sunday – first up at 10.20am and the final race starts at 12.10pm. All these times are local times.
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