Title Contests Set to Intensify at AMRS Season Mid-Point

Title contests across seven different categories are set to intensify when the Australian Motor Racing Series (AMRS) heads to Winton Motor Raceway for Round 3 this weekend, with five national-level categories to be joined by two of Victoria’s most popular state classes.

At a national level, much of the focus will be on the TA2 Muscle Car Series, in which third-generation racer Jett Johnson emerged as the points leader after the most recent round at The Bend Motorsport Park. Fresh from a DJR Mustang Supercars test, in which he shared the track with his father Steve and grandfather Dick, Jett will be out to extend his advantage this weekend.

On the points table, Jett’s closest pursuers are Zac Loscialpo and John McLaughlin, although the latter will be absent from the event after recently selling his car; other drivers likely to figure at the pointy end are talented Canberra racer Josh Haynes along with consistent Sydneysiders Dylan Thomas and Michael Coulter.

In the Australian Formula 3 Championship, Trent Grubel comes into Winton at the head of the points table aboard his new Dallara F312, having wrestled the lead away from Noah Sands in the previous round. The round is shaping up as a tight contest between Grubel, Sands, Mitch Neilson and Ben Taylor; the big talking point is likely to be the outright circuit record, which was set by John Magro in 2019 – whether or not this year’s crop of F3 drivers can challenge it will largely come down to weather conditions.

The Thunder Sports National Series always produces entertaining racing at Winton, with the circuit’s technical layout allowing the lighter, more nimble cars to nip at the heels of the high-horsepower machines.

While the likely outright contenders are the Oz Trucks of Stephen Chilby, Danny Burgess and Brett Mitchell, they can expect to face opposition from a number of local enthusiasts including Albury’s Mark Tracey, who won the Thunder Sports title in 2019 aboard his V8-powered BMW M3 and has done plenty of laps at Winton.

The Mazda RX8 Cup makes a welcome return to the AMRS program this weekend, with Tom Shaw – son of rotary renegade Ric Shaw – coming into the round just five points clear of Justin Barnes. Shaw and Barnes will be challenged this weekend by Jack Pennacchia, who put in some impressive wet-weather performances in the previous round, along with Tim Berryman, who is making his first appearance in RX8 Cup after previous success in Radical Cup and Historic Formula Ford.

The final national-level category on the program is the Miniature Race Car Series, which features a mixture of small, motorcycle-powered vehicles such as Future Racers and Aussie Racing Cars. Along with category manager David Brewer and regular front runners such a Jack Boyd, another interesting name on the entry list is Robert Coulthard, who steps away from the HSV he regularly races in NSW Production Touring Cars to have a run in the category.

The two state-based classes on the program are the VicV8s and Victorian Excel Series.

The VicV8s is a series for V8-powered Holdens and Fords, with engines up to six litres in capacity. Coming into this weekend, Brian Finn leads the points in his ex-Geoff Emery Commodore Cup car.

The Victorian Excel Series continues to be a popular entry-level category, and is divided into Trophy (Under 40) and Masters (Over 40) classes. In the Trophy Class, front-runners are likely to include Harry Tomkins, Cadel Ambrose and New South Welshman Wil Longmore, while Tim Rowse, Larry Merifield and Glenn Mackenzie will be fighting for Masters Class honours.

Spectator entry for this weekend’s AMRS round is free on both days.

Download the entry lists HERE.

Download the event schedule HERE.

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