Newcomers Expected to Shake Up RX8 Cup Order

Several new competitors are expected to shake up the established order in the OccSafe Australia/SEQL Mazda RX8 Cup, which makes a popular return to the AMRS program at Winton Raceway next weekend.

The RX8 Cup burst onto the Australian motorsport scene as part of the AMRS program in 2018, rapidly growing in competitor numbers due to its attributes of affordability and a sweet-handling rear-wheel-drive platform.

Since then, RX8 Cup has enjoyed consistent growth, even despite the COVID-19 interruptions of the last couple of years and is now attracting field sizes in the mid-to-high 20s.

After the first two rounds of the 2022 season, Tom Shaw leads the standings by just five points from Justin Barnes, with Jack Pennacchia sitting third in the points after an impressive performance in the previous round’s wet weather.

However, category manager Ric Shaw is expecting a couple of new faces in the category to make their presence felt.

“We have some new drivers coming into the RX8 Cup at Winton, which is always a positive sign for the growth of the category,” Shaw said.

“Tim Berryman is making his debut, and he’s had lots of experience and success in other categories like historic Formula Ford and the Radical Cup, so I’m expecting him to adapt to the RX8 pretty quickly.

“Also, Terry Lewis has been a regular runner in RX8 Cup but his brother Justin is going to be on the grid at Winton, making his circuit racing debut. It will be interesting to see how he goes.”

Outside the newcomers, there will be plenty of regular faces ready to take the fight up to the established players including Shannon McLaine and also the Victorian-based Matt Butters, who has turned numerous laps of Winton Raceway.

One thing is for sure – with its mixture of experienced racers and up-and-coming young guns, along with tightly controlled technical regulations that ensure the cars are evenly matched, the racing is sure to be as close and competitive as ever.

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