Now into its third round, Australia’s newest national one-make series continues to grow, with an 18-strong field for Wakefield Park including a number of debutants. Lachlan Mansell checks out the form guide.
The Mazda RX8 Cup keeps growing… from 12 cars in its inaugural round to 14 in its second, the series has expanded to 18 entries for Round 3 at Wakefield Park.
Series organiser Ric Shaw said one of the aims of the series was to attract new people into motorsport, and it’s certainly succeeding with that objective; there are a few drivers who will be making their racing debuts this weekend.
One of them, 18-year-old Maisie Place, will be the first female driver to compete in the series. Place, an apprentice mechanic from Canberra, has been doing some driver tuition with Phil Alexander to prepare for her competition debut, and has rapidly improved her times with each visit to the nation’s spectator track.
Also coming into the category is Dani Cashion – the Novocastrian joins the series with no previous motorsport experience.
Other newcomers are Simon Slade, a Canberran accountant with supersprint history, and regular Prep’d Motorsport crew chief Michael Dwyer, who slots into Lachlan Cook’s RX8 while Cook is overseas.
These drivers will compete alongside front-runners Shaw and Stephen McLaine, and other series regulars such as Terry Lewis, Nick Dunkley, Lachlan O’Hara and Will Cauchi.
After racing in the opening round at Winton, Will Harris returns to the series aboard a freshly-built Speedy Wheels RX8, while Victorian Pulsar driver Matt Butters joins Sam and Ben Silvestro as part of the three-car S-Sport Racing operation.
Aaron Prosser is back in the field following a promising debut performance at Morgan Park where he led the weekend’s final race in the wet, and Byron Bay driver Brayden Slater lines up for his second start aboard Phil Alexander’s RaceAway Track Time entry.
Shaw currently leads the series having won all eight races so far, but the international motorsport veteran is tipping his streak to end this weekend.
“I don’t see my winning run continuing, the field is just too competitive now,” Shaw said.
“Drivers like Stephen McLaine have been doing a lot of testing and preparation since our last round, and other drivers like Aaron Prosser and Will Harris are only going to be faster now they have experience under their belts.
“It’s really pleasing to see the series growing so rapidly, and with more cars being built I’m confident we’ll see 20 plus cars on track before the end of the year.”
Points after Round 2
- Ric Shaw – 241
- Stephen McLaine – 186
- Nick Dunkley – 182
- Ben Silvestro – 154
- Will Harris – 109