After a very solid inaugural meeting at Winton, the entry list for the Mazda RX8 Cup Series has grown for Round 2 this weekend. Lachlan Mansell looks at the form guide.
The Mazda RX8 Cup has certainly struck a chord for those looking for an affordable, one-make series with rear-wheel-drive cars and tightly-controlled technical regulations.
12 cars raced in the season opener at Winton and two more will participate this weekend, for a total field size of 14. According to series organiser Ric Shaw, there are plenty more cars being built as well.
Shaw is a driver who has become synonymous with rotary-powered Mazda race cars – throughout his career, he has raced them everywhere from Bathurst to the Nurburgring, so it was no surprise to see him dominating the opening round at Winton. He had to work for it though, because other drivers like Will Harris and Trent Murray kept him under pressure in all four races.
This weekend, Shaw has recruited his long-time crew chief Andrew Bollom to drive his second car, while another man with vast experience in rotary engines, Phil Alexander, has entered his RaceAway Track Time Mazda RX8 for promising young racer Brayden Slater, who steps up from the QLD Excel Series.
Other contenders include Nick Dunkley and Will Cauchi. Dunkley, in particular, impressed with his race-craft at Winton – he may have lacked the raw speed of some others, but he still came away with a top three finish for the weekend by virtue of consistency and some fine defensive driving.
The father-and-son combination of Sam and Ben Silvestro will be on the grid this weekend, as will former national Improved Production Champion Terry Lewis, who made his racing return this year after an absence of two decades.
Another driver to watch will be Brisbane-based Aaron Prosser, who has achieved vast success in speedway racing, including a win in last year’s Mod Lites national title.
The Mazda RX8 Cup Series is presented by Speedy Wheels and Hunter Kitchen King.
Points after Round 1
- Ric Shaw – 123
- Will Harris – 109
- Nick Dunkley – 102
- Will Cauchi – 84
- Ben Silvestro – 80
RX8 Cup Round 2 Entry List