QLD State Championship preview

Morgan Park- September 21-22

For the first time ever, the Queensland Motor Racing Championship heads to Morgan Park, just outside of Warwick, this weekend for the fifth round of the 2002 Championship.

The newly lengthened and renovated circuit has proven to be a hit with compeitors, even before they have turned a wheel, with over 170 competitors entered.

Qualifying kicks off at 8:00am on Saturday, with the first round of 10 lap races being held from 1:00pm on Saturday afternoon, with all classes scheduled for three races on Sunday from 8:30am.

Racing Cars and Formula Fords

Five New South Wales Formula First competitors will be making the trek north of the border to the inaugaral State Championship event.

Ian Chivas, Shaun Atherton, Jason Cutts, Darren Mason and Ken Smith will be campaigning their 1600cc Formula Vee variants against the best of Queensland's open wheel talent.

Troy Chaplin has all but sewn up the CAMS Racing Car title in his Ralt RT34, while Ash Lowe looks set to win the Formula Ford Championship, returning this meeting to his regular Spectrum 07.

Russ McBurnie has entered his Ralt F3, while Chris Gilmour and Bob Power will also battle for Formula Ford honours.

Formula Vee

If recent meetings are anything to go by, this class should be one of the closest at the meeting.

Shane Hart and Trent Usher, after coming together in previous race meetings will be set to battle for the State Championship lead, while Tristian Hughes is set to pick up his first ever race victory.

Making a very welcomed comeback will be Russell White, who last time out was involved in a major incident which resulted in his previous car split into three.

Sports Cars

As always, there will be something for everyone in the Sports Cars.

The battle for the lead is expected to be between the clubman brigade, led by championship protagonists Colin Berneville-Claye, Stephen Morcombe and Adrian Mulhern.

The battle of the tin tops is expected to revolve around some of the more exotic makes, including Chris Hatfield (DRB GT40), Guy Beddington (Lotus Elise) and Norm Singleton (Fiat Abarth).

The coupes will also be in with a shot of victory, with Brian Ferrabee (Mazda MX5) and Gerry Geltch (Datsun 2000 Fairlady) in with a chance of victory on the twisty yet quick circuit.

Sports Sedans

A quality field of cars is set to line up for the M.R. Automotive Championship round.

Picking a winner will be near impossible, between the likes of reigning State Champion Wayne Parmeneter (PRD Supra), Stephen Voight (GT Monza), Seab English (Ford English), Geoff Gillespie (Fiat 131), David Waldon (Honda Prelude, fresh from a class victory in the recent Queensland round of the National Sports Sedan Championship), Toowoomba's Gary Hamilton (Datsun 1000), Darwin's Bob McLoughlin (Commodore Chev) and Colin Smith (Rover Vitesse).

Kaye Woodward will be looking to extend her lead in the Racetech Australia Under 2 Litre Sports Sedan Championship in her Gemini.

HQ Holdens

Once again the HQs will have a large quality field, and racing for the lead will be intense.

Rowan Stanfield, Gary Marks, Brad Schomberg, Ben Simpson, Dave Blunt, Michael McCloud, Brendan Kennedy, Shannon O'Brien (Chalie's nephew), and Gary Bonwick all have realistic claims for podium finshes.

Special mention must go to Ian Mundell, who will be making the trek down to the Darlington Downs from his home in Rockhampton.

Improved Productions

The biggest fieild of cars will come from the Improved Productions, as many cars are coming out of the woodworks in preparations for their National Championship at Queensland Raceway on November 2-3.

Toowoomba's Adam Uebergang (Mazda RX7), Justin Keys (RX7), Colin Giblett (Holden Commodore), Peter Johnstone (RX7), David Skillender (RX7), Daniel Wilkie (RX7), Steve Draheim (Datsun 1200), and David Wood (Mazda RX3) are all in with a chance of victory.

Although, with the twisty nature of the track, the smaller class C and D cars are sure to make an impression on the leaderboard.

Saloon Cars

After competing last weekend at the VIP Petfoods QLD 500, a strong field will be going west of the 'Range.

Scott Nicholas is looking to consolidate on his Championship lead, and if recent form with adapting to new circuits is anything to go by, he should remain at the front of the field.

Reigning State Champion Tim Young will be making an entry, while V8 Supercar driver Shane Beikoff will be making his first State level appearence in some time.

John Lawrence, Jake Camilleri and Troy Norris will be looking to continue on their good National level form.

Geminis

It is fitting that since the event is being organised and promoted by the Queensland Gemini Racing Association, that the class will provide their best field for the season.

Season long protagonists Ron Lange, Benn Wilson, Darren Suhle, Nick Rnagely and Kandice Walker should be at the front of the pack, however, a group of returning drivers will be hungry for success.

Daniele Argiro and Kris Walton will be returning to the class after spending a season in the Saloon Cars, while young Dick Johnson Racing development driver, Ryal Harris will be competing in his second race meeting before moving up to the V8 BRutes next season.

Engine guru Peter Phillips will be making a comeback, as will veteran Vic Cameron.

Historic Touring Cars

After time to recover from the mid season glut of race meetings, the old timers are set for a big meeting.

Bruce Dummett will be looking to continue his good form after a successful visit to the Historic Touring Car Cup at Eastern Creek.

Other Torana punters in with a good chance include Kevin Heffernan, Carol Jackson, Graeme Smith, Bill Campbell, Anthony Beehan and Matt Jackson.

Matt McGrath will be looking to continue his fine form, on a circuit which should be more suited to his Austin Cooper S, while Spark Brothers Racing will be out in force, with Daniel and Luke Spark behind the weel of their Minis.

Darkhorses for the weekend may include Wayne Rogerson (Mazda RX2) and John McKeon (BMW 2002).

- www.queensland-raceway.org.au