AUSTRALIAN MOTOR RACING SERIES -- CREEKING DOWN TO AMRS Round Six of the Australian Motor Racing Series (AMRS) travels back to New South Wales for the first of two scheduled rounds at the fast flowing Eastern Creek Raceway circuit, the first...
AUSTRALIAN MOTOR RACING SERIES -- CREEKING DOWN TO AMRS
Round Six of the Australian Motor Racing Series (AMRS) travels back to New South Wales for the first of two scheduled rounds at the fast flowing Eastern Creek Raceway circuit, the first next weekend on the 23rd and 24th of July.
Australia's fastest open wheelers and fastest sedans will be doing battle for National Series and National Championship points when they launch onto the circuit at the Eastern Creek circuit just over 40 minutes drive from the CBD of Sydney.
The AMRS provides unlimited access for spectators as they are invited to walk around the paddock, enjoy the free grandstand seating, talk to the teams and enjoy the best value for money motor racing event in Sydney for 2005.
WHAT TYPE OF CARS WILL I SEE AT THE CREEK?
The seven National categories racing at Eastern Creek raceway on the 23rd
and 24th of July are:
* Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship
* Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Challenge
* 2005 Holden Australian Formula 4000 Championship
* Speed Energy Drink Australian GT Championship and Australian Porsche Drivers Challenge
* Shannon's Australian Production Car Championship
* Kerrick TranZam Sports Sedan Series * Australian Superkart Championship
Bring the family out to the creek; watch Ferrari's, Porsche's, Dodge Vipers, Mustang's Honda NSX and Lamborghini's go door handle to door handle. See some of the best former V8Supercar's fight amongst the more nimble Super Tourers as they fend off the Group A legends and V8 Future Tourers for the title in the Touring Car Challenge.
Witness fire breathing 700hp 6lt TranZam Sports Sedans light up the track, with race bred Chevrolet V8 powered monsters tackling the high-speed circuit as they stake their claim as the fastest tin tops in Australia.
Watch the best Production Cars in the country go head to head; with SS Commodore up against XR6 Turbo, mixed with Honda S2000, Toyota Celica's, Honda Integra Type R, then mix together with Proton Satria, Vectra, Echo and Focus which creates brilliant handicap racing.
Enjoy the fastest open wheelers in Australia; Formula 3 the true international category and Formula 4000 Australia's answer to F3000 as they both race for the honour of the fastest open wheeler category in the country. Two different categories, four separate races and twice the fun!
With lap times only 6lt V8's can beat, the Superkarts fly around the Eastern Creek circuit that some describe as the perfect track for a Superkart. Sitting one inch from the track -- 200km/h must feel like 400 in these truly inspiring machines which defy belief.
WHAT DRIVERS COULD I MEET AT THE CREEK?
Over the last decade a huge amount of exciting talent has entered the Motor Racing fraternity and the AMRS has harnessed this talent across all seven categories. So who are they?
Kerrick TranZam Sports Sedan Series sees 2004 Champion Darren Hossack toe to toe with Western Australia's finest Tony Ricciardello. The Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship witnesses Aaron Caratti, Michael Trimble and Chris Alajajian as three of the hottest new property in open wheeler racing.
Garry Wilmington and Terry Wyhoon are no strangers to the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Challenge as they fend off 2004 Champion Luke Searle and young gun Adam Proctor. Hackett versus Washington, Teulan versus Giorgi, Palmer versus Huglin, with Speed Energy Drink GT Championship and Porsche Drivers Challenge combining for Two races within the One.
Osborne and Shephard are providing some of the closest Production Cars action seen this year but the brute force of Anderson trying to fend off the hard charging Russell has highlighted the V8 versus 4cyl struggle. The Shannon's Australian Production Car Championship is hotting up.
Hangar will have to watch out for Hollywood Hackett and series leader Pingel in the 2005 Australian Formula 4000 Championship plus view all of the 40 plus Superkarts battle against each other as they fight for the title of Australian Superkart Champion!
2005 HOLDEN AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 4000 CHAMPIONSHIP
The Formula 4000 teams head off to Eastern Creek for Round 3 of the national championship on 23rd and 24th July. Like many categories, Formula 4000 has had its struggles in starting a new season. The newly formed Association Committee is totally focused on increasing competitor numbers, on raising the profile of F4000, increasing marketing and creating a sustainable formula.
This season heralds a unique and exciting enhancement to the formula with the welcome commitment from Holden Motor Sport in supplying the all new V6 Alloytec quad cam power plant. Currently the Hocking Motorsport entries of Mark West and Les Crampton, the Ralt Australia entry driven by McFadyen and Hackett and Sam Dale have these new engines on board.
Early indication is that these engines will give increased performance and reliability. The agreed package is unique in Australian motor sport. The financial benefit to all F4000 competitors should see the grid flourish and grow. Several other competitors have committed to the installation of these power plants including race series leaders Derek Pingel and Ty Hangar.
The point's leader board coming into this event sees Queenslander Derek Pingel on 57 points with New South Welshman Ty Hangar on 47 and Neil McFadyen in third with 40 points. To round out the top 6, Ben Crichton has 36 points, Peter Hackett 32 points and Terry Clearihan 20 points.
The return by Derek Pingel to national competition comes after a 15 year retirement since successfully campaigned the Corinthian Doors Australian Formula 2 car in the 1980's. He has adapted well to this new formula in his 95D Reynard as showed in being ahead of the pack during practice on Friday and Saturday at Willowbank and taking an early lead for the first 4 laps in race 2 before Hackett with his new Alloytec Holden powered Reynard took the lead.
Ty Hangar has shown great early season form despite a couple of setbacks including an engine failure at Phillip Island. Several newcomers have taken to the F4000 series this year, and it has been a steep learning curve for most of them. Sam Dale in the Mumbo Racing Reynard, Ash Lowe in the second WISC Racing team car and Chris Farrel in the Mantis Racing entry have had missed results in the opening rounds and look forward to adding some valuable championship points at Eastern Creek.
The super fast Eastern Creek circuit is well suited to the Formula 4000 cars and they can expect to reach speeds in excess of 260 kph through turn 1. The starting grid is looking particularly strong with most cars being unscathed at Queensland Raceway last weekend. Bob Power will be attending to a gearbox failure in his Ralt, and "never give up" Derek Pingel will be doing some body work after an excursion into the gravel pit on turn 2, and Les Crampton in the Hocking Motorsport car is still out looking for the china man. Mark West should have the "Just Magazines" Reynard back on the track after crashing heavily at Phillip Island.
A star performer this year has been the Ralt Australia entry which has been driven by Neil McFadyen in Round 1 and Peter Hackett in Round 2. It will be interesting to see who gets the drive for this next round.
Ben Crichton in the other Ralt Australia entry, Terry Clearihan and Ray Hangar has potential to be consistent performers this season and should not be underestimated.
Formula 4000 is generating sponsorship interest as teams focus on having reliability in their well presented cars and drivers physically and mentally preparing well to make this series one that will command attention and build spectator numbers in the year ahead.
KUMHO TYRES AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP
100 race celebration for Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship at Eastern Creek.
100th birthdays don't come around too often. Always a remarkable achievement, the 'big 100' is always a landmark worth celebrating in style - and whilst its unlikely that a letter from the Queen will be forthcoming, the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship will nevertheless celebrate it's 100th race when the series fronts for its fifth outing for 2005 at Eastern Creek in a week's time.
Things have progressed rapidly since the series first took to Australian Racetracks at Adelaide's Mallala Raceway in May 1999, evolving to become the premier open wheel category in the country and to be competing for the prestigious Australian Drivers Championship and the CAMS Gold Star award.
Australian Formula 3's first ever race - held in fine but cool and windy conditions - was won by Paul Stephenson, who took out a ten-lap encounter at Mallala ahead of Bronte Rundle - who now heads up Team BRM. Well known open wheel competitor Chas Jacobsen completed a competitive top three, all podium finishers driving Dallara F396 model cars.
The competition at the front of the field, however, has reached a whole new level this year with frenetic action being seen at the four rounds held to date.
Leading the charge is West Australian driver Aaron Caratti, who heads to Eastern Creek with a comfortable 23 point buffer over season long rival Michael Trimble. Caratti - driving for David Borg's newly christened 'Insight F3' team - won the recent round at Queensland Raceway and leaped to the top of the standings, the first clear points leader the championship has had to date in 2005.
Caratti's four race wins to date have been coupled with four poles and three 3rd place finishes to firmly entrench the driver at the top of the table. Second in points is Team BRM's Michael Trimble, the 20 year old having had a disastrous run at Queensland -- failing to finish the second race after the Speiss Engine powering his Dallara F304 failed with two laps remaining in the round's final race.
The young Victorian had been toe to toe with Caratti for a majority of the season and will be looking to follow on team BRM's success at the Sydney circuit last season -- eventual champion Karl Reindler dominated the meeting -- to haul the point's gap back.
Finding some of his early season form at the forth round was Chris Alajajian, now with experienced racing outfit Protecnica Racing preparing his Jack Hillerman's Smash Dallara F304 -- Renault. After struggling for pace and reliability at the third round of the championship, Alajajian's form in Queensland came as a welcome relief for the aggressive youngster. Expect the Protecnica team to be right on top of set-up and preparation at what will be their home round of the series'.
Amongst an expanded entry for the Sydney round include Benchmark Motorsports Matt Sofi, who made his Formula 3 debut at the series' opening round at Wakefield Park this year. Piccola Scuderia's Canadian import Cody Liebel will also return after sitting out the last round. Liebel has plenty of laps around the Piccola team's home circuit, and is set to show more constant improvement in his distinctive red Dallara F301.
Stephen Borness will also make his F3 debut at the wheel of David Choon's Dallara F396. Borness -- who will make his first Formula 3 start at the Sydney track - has extensive racing experience, predominantly in the Australian Carrera Cup Championship.
F3 rookie Lauren Gray will return for her second bite at the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Trophy Class after impressing in her F3 debut at Queensland Raceway. Gray showed constant improvement over the course of the Queensland round, and will be looking to challenge for outright Trophy Class honours in her Scud Racing prepared Dallara F396 when the series hits Sydney for the first time this season.
Round 5 of this year's eight round Kumho tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship will be contested over two races at Eastern Creek on July 24.
SPEED ENERGY DRINK AUSTRALIAN GT CHAMPIONSHIP AND PORSCHE DRIVERS CHALLENGE
High-powered field readies for first Sydney Shootout
A 24 CAR Field of high performance GT cars is set to take Sydney's Eastern Creek raceway by Storm next weekend, when the Speed Energy Drink Australian GT Championship and Porsche Driver's Challenge fronts in New South Wales for the first time this year to hold their third round of 2005 at the 3.9km circuit. A horde of various model Porsche's, three Ferrari's, a Honda, a thundering Dodge Viper and a Lamborghini head up the entry list, which it set to present the most open field of the season, a number of new contenders set to step up to the mark to challenge established series' pace setters like Bryce Washington and Peter Hackett.
Hackett heads into the round leading the GT points score, having taken five wins from six races this season in his 600hp Lamborghini Diablo GTR. The New South Welshman may need to work even harder for his wins at the 'creek, though -- the Lambo's wings having been clipped in the series' first parity adjustment sheet for the season. Closet rival Washington scored his first win of the season at Queensland Raceway at the wheel of his #54 Adrad Radiators Porsche 911GT3 Cup Car, the young South Australian consolidating his position as the leading Porsche contender this season by leading the super competitive Australian Porsche Drivers Challenge after two rounds.
A surprise round two winner was Ian Palmer, his #20 Instant Foundations / Rentco Brabham Honda NSX scoring a trio of consistent results to top the point score at Queensland raceway, the Queenslander finally delivering results after spending years -- and plenty of dollars -- developing the Japanese Supercar. Expect the Honda to continue its march forward at Eastern Creek; the flowing circuit should suit the handling balance the car is renowned for in its production state. A quartet of outright result contending, high performance Porsche models will be in attendance; with entries ranging from the 'standard' GT3 Race Car to Cup Car specification examples, the RS Le Mans style entries and new for this round, David Steven's storming GT2.
Stevens will make his Speed Energy Drink Australian GT Championship and Porsche Drivers Challenge premiere at Eastern Creek, cross-entered in both GT and the Open Porsche Class to maximise his results for the weekend. John Kaias' #77 ABCOR P/L Porsche 911 GT3 was a quiet achiever of the opening two rounds, notching up consistent results in both rounds -- including a fantastic second outright in the final Queensland race -- to sit pretty just nine points behind series' leader Bryce Washington in the Porsche Driver's Challenge.
Kaias' pace has been impressive enough to upstage many of the regular GT contenders, a cross entry into the GT ranks surely not too far down the track for the Porsche Open class contender considering his strong season 2005 form. After two false starts, Darcy Russell will make his eagerly anticipated first start for 2005 -- finally being able to blow the cobwebs out of his monstering 8 Litre V10 Dodge Viper ACR. The long main straight at the 3.9km Sydney circuit set to work in the Vipers benefit and enable it to show of its huge reserves of horsepower and torque available. And whilst the outright Porsche and GT contenders are beginning to flex their respective muscles, the inter class battles that spread throughout the field are also set to step their level of competition up a notch when the series hits Sydney-town.
With eight entries alone for Eastern Creek, the Porsche Driver's Challenge Open class is set to provide some thrilling racing, key outright contenders such as Washington, Stevens, Kaias, Claude Giorgi (#29 Integrated Group Porsche 911 GT3) and Mark Eddy (#12 Quarterback Clothing Porsche 911 GT3 RS) making up a majority of the class. Eight cars will also make up the A Class competition -- for cars with a slightly higher power to weight ratio compared to their Open brethren.
Victorian Simon Middleton (#8 Porsche 911 GT3) has topped the class since the opening round in May, and leads the class point's table by a not inconsiderable 49 points. Malcolm Lynn (#32 Lynn's building Materials Porsche GT3) will be looking to challenge Middleton on his home track after a strong performance in Queensland, as will fellow hometown class hero's Paul Bolinowsky, Anthony Skinner and David Giugni (#48 Wiffens Fruit & Veg Porsche 993 RSCS).
Formula 3 pilot Kevin Miller will also make his first Porsche Driver's Challenge start for the season, entering his #58 Property Solutions Group Porsche 911 GT3 into the Sydney fray.
Last, but certainly not least, the class B tussle has also been tight this season -- Don Tryhorn and Matt Humphrey trading places regularly at Queensland Raceway, the latter coming out on top to score his first win for the season. Both Tryhorn and Humphrey are entered for Eastern Creek to continue their battle for B class honours.
So with all four points tables tight at the top, Parity adjustments bringing cars closer and the series approaching it's half way point, expect the unexpected when close to $8 million worth of cars -- producing an estimated 9,000 horsepower combined - front for three races at Eastern Creek on July 23 -- 24.
GULF WESTERN OIL TOURING CAR CHALLENGE
The Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Challenge heads back to the familiar surroundings of Eastern Creek Raceway for round five of this exciting series where Terry Wyhoon won't have it all his own way.
A host of new cars enter the midway part of the series with Richard Mork back from injury with his new Ex Larry Perkins VS Commodore and Peter Best -- Ex Konica driver looking toward the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Challenge as the first opportunity to test his VS Commodore against the might of Chris Smerdon who is back from his impressive debut at Mallala in April.
With only five rounds to go in the series Amin Chada debuts his new BA which will boost his chances, and combined with Andrew Gillespie who is driving flat out in his AU Falcon the arrival of Derek Hocking into the Future Touring class from Production Cars sees the excitement level turned up just another notch with a total number of entrants at a 2005 high of twenty four.
Luke Searle is back on track after extensive damage at Phillip Island in May and let's not forget Adam Proctor who was also involved in a forgettable round at Phillip Island who is back with renewed vigour. The father and son team of Peter and Ben Vicary will continue their on track rivalry from Mallala as Ben steps back into the Neil Byers V8 Magna Future Tourer.
Sam Dale will again fly in from an undisclosed location in the Timor Sea to fulfil driving duties for both Formula 4000 and the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Challenge. Fresh from an exciting holiday on the Gold Coast -- Ray Ayton returns to the track, along with Leigh Moran and the two Gulf Western Ex V8Supercars of Vicary and Wyhoon -- all prepared by the Image Racing maestro Terry Wyhoon and crew.
Peter Kelly has been impressive this year and expect Peter to move up another notch at Eastern Creek as he looks to out gun Matthew Hunt who returns to the series after engine problems from a promising start at Wakefield Park back in February.
The Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Challenge showcases the history of Touring Car racing in Australia and abroad with four wonderful classes all vying for the top spot on the podium come Sunday afternoon. Where else do you get to see Group A, Ex V8Supercars, Future Tourers go head to head along with Super Tourers?
Nowhere else -- so get out to the Creek on the 23rd and 24th of July -- you will not be disappointed.