Young Australian Sports Sedan star and BF Goodrich Trans-Am aspirant Stephen Vines faces the biggest challenge of his racing career at next weekends 50K Plate at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit south east of Melbourne. For the first time Vines will enjoy the power of a brand new "stroker" engine in his V8 Ford Cortina sport sedan. Team boss Joe Pirotta and engine builder Charlie Caruana have been hard at work following this year's Victorian Motor Racing Championships to try to find more speed from their ageing racecar.

Vines said that he was really looking forward to the race which has become the unofficial grand final of the local motorsports season. "There's always a big field at the Island for the 50k and this year will be no exception. With a bigger and more powerful engine I hope we get even closer to the more modern mid-engined cars like Dean Cam's V8 Honda and the lightweight rotaries like Richard Catchlove's RX7."

Vines and his close knit family team will be hoping his cars consistency and reliability will stand him in good stead for a top five finish. 40 cars have entered the 50K, Australia's number 1 single race Sports Sedan event and one of the great highlights of the 11th annual Island Magic meeting which this year sees two new categories competing.

"The Under 2 litre Sports Sedans and the rapidly expanding Saloon Car class are joining the program." said event secretary Geoff Bull. The addition of the Under 2 litre Sports Sedans has produced a top quality field of these pocket rockets, while the Improved Production category has 50 top cars from all over Australia to contest the annual Matthew Flinders Plate.

Tickets are available at the gate at a budget price of only $10-00 per head for each day, with accompanied children under 15 admitted free of charge. There's also free pit admission and access to the circuits famous infield kiosk and the world's best Egg and Bacon Rolls.

Advance tickets and the latest information on Island Magic can be found at www.piarc.com.au or at the gate.

-SVRr-