In the past 19 years the Aussie Racing Cars have visited no fewer than 23 circuits in Australia and New Zealand. The last two “new” tracks were in New Zealand and are owned by the category’s owner Tony Quinn, Hampton Downs an hour south of Auckland and the amazing Highland Park at Cromwell deep in the South Island.
This weekend the Aussie Racing Cars are again on the Supercars undercard and at the brand-new Tailem Bend circuit.
The Bend Motorsport Park is the latest edition to the Supercars calendar and when late last year at the Aussie Car’s Gala Dinner it was revelled that the 2018 calendar included this (and at the time unfinished) circuit, it was fair to say the drivers and teams were pretty excited.
And since that November dinner the excitement hasn’t abated, up until last week no one currently running in Aussie Racing Cars had completed a lap of the 4.95km circuit, except maybe on a simulator. Now at least half of our drivers have had a sneaky go at it, last week and a few days before that a few teams had a test day there. Last Thursday the support categories were welcomed to a test day for those that could get there by the track operators.
Here is what a couple of our drivers had to say:
Josh Anderson: “Track is really fun. Unusual combination of both technical and high-speed sections, long lap. Really cool circuit”
Jeff Watters: “Pretty amazing place. Great technical track that will yield exciting racing, absolute credit to the circuit designers & developers. Just hope the wind keeps away!”
Craig Thompson (Western Sydney Motorsport): “Track has a bit of everything high speed braking and fast exits, some big heavy commitment sweeping corners. 18 corners 4.95kms – bring it on!”
Once again, the schedule for the Aussie Cars is very busy on Friday (there is no track time on Thursday) with a 20 minute practice session at 8.30am, then at 12.15pm a 20 minute qualifying session will take place and the first race for the weekend gets underway at 4.05pm. Saturday the teams will have plenty of time to sort out car issues and take a look around the Bend itself as there is just one race at 1.50pm. Sunday there are two races first up at 9.15am and then again at 3.25pm. As always, our races will feature on Fox Sport 506.
The owners at the Bend have put out a social media release stating the weather is going to be great, 5C-19C they claim, that’s somewhat cold for our Queensland competitors, but maybe cosy for our southern teams! Great running conditions for Aussie Racing Cars though.
The class sees a couple of new comers to the fold including Jonathan Webb, “We are excited to announce that current Supercar enduro driver and 2016 Bathurst Winner Jonathon Webb will be running one of our Mustangs at the next ARC round, the car will be wrapped in the traditional Tekno Motorsport colours” said Craig Thompson (Western Sydney Motorsport). And a crowd favourite lady driver Ruth Bowler will be back on track after only running round one at Baskerville so far this year.
Keep an eye on our Website and Facebook pages for updates, Facebook LIVES and of course plenty of photos, along with a number of driver interviews to get their comments regarding the new venue.
List of Tracks the Aussie Racing Cars have featured at:
Tasmania; Baskerville, Symmons Plains
Victoria; Sandown, Phillip Island, Winton, Albert Park
New South Wales; Oran Park, Wakefield Park, Bathurst, Homebush, Eastern Creek, Newcastle.
Queensland; Ipswich, Gold Coast, Morgan Park, Townsville.
Northern Territory; Hidden Valley
Western Australia; Barbagello
South Australia; Adelaide Street, Tailem Bend
New Zealand; Highland Park, Hampton Downs, Pukekohe