MORE than 80 cars, representing around 25 production passenger models for sale in Australia, will line up for a gruelling comparison test at the grand final round of the 2001 PROCAR Champ Series on 23-25 November at Oran Park Raceway, near Sydney.
The cars, from Ferraris to Falcon utes and Vipers to Volkswagens, will compete in rounds of four national series as part of a 17-race program set to decide several national driving championships for 2001.
Fans will see some of Australia's best-known drivers in action, including three-time Australian Gold Star champion Paul Stokell in a Lamborghini, six-time Bathurst 1000 winner Jim Richards in a Porsche, Subaru ace Brett Peters and Holden's Philip Polites.
Sydney-based Holden V8 Supercar stalwart Mick Donaher will take the wheel of a Ford Falcon ute, while two women drivers, Sue Hughes and Sarah Hullah, will show that skill and daring on the race track are not a male preserves.
The meeting will feature the eighth rounds of the Megmantis.com Australian Nations Cup Championship and the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship, which comprises separate races for the GT Performance and GT Production divisions.
The Poolrite V8 BRute Muster will stage non-championship races and the Australian Formula 3 Championship, Toyo Mitsubishi Mirage Series and New South Wales Holden HQ Championship also will be on the Oran Park program.
The meeting will close a successful season for the PROCAR Champ Series, which was launched this year. The first event, at Wakefield Park, near Goulburn, in May attracted a record two-day attendance of 10,928 and 20,450 people went to the most recent meeting, the Clarion Sandown 500 in Melbourne in September.
PROCAR Australia Chief Executive Ross Palmer expects another big crowd at Oran Park.
"Oran Park is the perfect place for PROCAR¹s grand final. The track is popular with fans throughout the Sydney region because it¹s easy to get to and offers fantastic viewing.
"Combine that with the proven popularity and relevance of late-model road cars racing each other on the track and you have the formula for a crackerjack weekend," Mr Palmer said.
Race-day highlights will include the Nations Cup and GTP deciders.
A trouble-free run should see Jim Richards claim his second straight Meguiar's Drivers Championship in Nations Cup, despite a late challenge by Paul Stokell, who made a clean sweep of round seven at the recent Gold Coast Indy meeting.
Queenslander Brett Peters is on course to wrap up Subaru's first GTP title, his nimble all-wheel-drive turbo sedan having proved a match during the season for the more powerful V8 Holden Commodore GTS and Ford Mustang Cobra coupe.
Championships in the GTP High Performance, V8 Touring and 4-Cylinder Touring classes also are up for grabs. The Sports Touring class already has been clinched by Mitsubishi driver Nathan Pilkington and Daryl Coon confirmed his second straight 6-Cylinder Touring Championship at round six in September.
PROCAR Champ Series - At a Glance
Date - 23-25 November (Friday - practice, Saturday - qualifying, Sunday - racing)
Venue - Oran Park Raceway, corner Northern & Cobbity Roads, Narellan; near Camden
- Megamantis.com Australian Nations Cup Championship (Rd 8)
- Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship - GT
Performance Series and GT
- Production Series (Rd 8)
- Poolrite V8 BRute Muster (non-championship)
- Australian Formula 3 Championship (Rd 7)
- Toyo Mitsubishi Mirage Series (Rd 6)
- Holden HQ State Championship (Rd 6)
Tickets - Sunday adult $30 (child $15), Saturday adult $15 (child $10), weekend adult $40 (child $20). Children under 10 free