|Mazda RX8 Cup
The first pointscoring round of the brand-new RX8 one-make series has attracted a well-credentialed field highlighted by veteran rotary racer Ric Shaw. Also entering the series are NSW Production Sports racers Alex and Lachlan Cook, experienced production car pilot Sam Silvestro and his son Ben, and Central Coast drivers Lachlan O’Hara and Will Cauchi
After some appearances at Wakefield Park and Winton state-level events over the last few seasons, Legend Cars expands to a full national series in 2018, with the series winner receiving the coveted “Race to the US” prize, to compete in the American Legend Cars.
The motorcycle-powered Legend Cars are unique in being able to compete in both speedway and tarmac circuit racing events, and a number of drivers are making the transition from speedway to asphalt competition, including Scott Bennett, Jim McCabe, Andrew and Anthony Broers. There are also some accomplished circuit racing specialists including former Formula Ford racer James Burge, and former Formula 4 runner Zane Morse.
Formula 3 Premier Series
Formula 3 cars are the fastest-ever around Winton Motor Raceway, Chris Anthony setting an outright record on the national circuit in 2016.
The pure-bred open-wheelers return to the nation’s action track this weekend with a compact but high-quality field headed by Cameron Shields and Harri Jones, who will combine the F3 races with their Formula Ford commitments.
BMW Drivers Cup/IROC Challenge
The BMW E30s and Classic Porsches will race in a combined grid with a distinctly German flavour. On the Porsche side of the ledger, expect Greg Keene to be the driver to beat while the BMW field is wide open with Geoff Bowles, Brian Bourke, Chris Bell and Glenn Potter all capable of contending for race victories.
Miniature Race Cars
Miniature Race Cars is a category open to small, motorcycle-engined vehicles, typically with sequential gearboxes.
The first Miniature Race Car round for 2018 has attracted a mixture of Future Racers, superseded Aussie Racing Cars and two Legend Cars that have been modified beyond the scope of the Legend Car technical regulations.
Reigning Champion Jase Collins, Team Supreme Future Racer driver Chad Cotton and Toyota 86 Series front-runner Jake Klein will be the main combatants.
Production TT/SuperTT/Group 4/Super 6/Utes
The predominantly Winton-based Victorian Tin Top Series commences on the national stage, and will be joined by the Group 4 and Super 6 Touring Cars and Aussie Racing Utes in a combined grid.
The philosophy of Victorian TT is “run what you brung”, hence there is a wide variety of cars on the entry list, including Holdens and Fords, turbocharged Mitsubishis and Subarus, a Mini Cooper S and a couple of Renault Clios.
Group 4 Touring Cars is a new category, using Ford BA Falcon and Holden VY Commodore platforms powered by control 6.2 Litre LS3 V8 engines, while Super 6 Touring Cars is for six-cylinder versions of those vehicles (and earlier models such as VT Commodore and AU Falcon).
The Aussie Racing Utes class is home to vehicles that formerly competed in the V8 Ute Racing Series – eligible vehicles range from the VU Commodore and AU Falcon Utes all the way through to the recently-superseded VE Commodore and FG Falcon models.
Stock Cars/Extreme TT
Always a crowd favourite, the Stock Cars are circuit-configured versions of the vehicles that compete in the world-famous NASCAR category in America. The category is also open to Oztrucks (derived from the Camping World Truck Series machines).
The Oztrucks of Steve and Michael Coulter will be among the front-runners this weekend, as will the Stock Cars of Brian Walden, David Hender and Motorsports Training Australia teacher Trevor Crisp.
The Stock Cars will race in a combined grid with Extreme TT, open to vehicles deemed too fast for the Super TT and Production TT classes.
They may be small but don’t be deceived by their diminutive size, because Superkarts are some of the fastest vehicles around Australian race tracks. The karts in the premier 250cc International class run 90hp twin-cylinder motors from Honda, Yamaha or Rotax, and with a combined kart and driver weight of 210kg, their power-to-weight radio is among the best of any motorsport category.
Other classes are 250cc National and a selection of 125cc classes including Gearbox, Rotax Heavy, Rotax Light and Stock Honda.
This weekend’s entry includes a smattering of familiar names including experienced racer Gary Pegoraro (250cc International) and former AFL player Jason Ackermanis (250cc National).