The revised format for the Wakefield Park round will allow Seventh Day Adventist Luke Searle to drive in qualifying for the first time. Searle, who drives a Roadchill Express-sae College bmw 320i, made his championship debut in 1999 and since...
The revised format for the Wakefield Park round will allow Seventh Day Adventist Luke Searle to drive in qualifying for the first time. Searle, who drives a Roadchill Express-sae College bmw 320i, made his championship debut in 1999 and since then started the first race of every round from the rear of the grid because his religious beliefs prevented him contesting qualifying sessions held on Saturdays. However, qualifying has been switched to this Friday at Wakefield Park, which means the 24-year-old from Newcastle can drive in the two sessions to determine grid positions. Searle is sixth in the championship and second in the Independents Cup.
Newcastle teenager Kiel Johnston will make his championship debut at Wakefield Park in the Nissan Primera raced in two previous rounds of the 2000-2001 series by Canberra's Matthew Fox. Johnstone, 18, raced karts from 1996-99, and then drove in the Daewoo one-make series in 2000. The car Johnstone will race at Wakefield Park was sourced from Macau and is being prepared by John Pachos, who also oversees the Sydney Cranes & Transport Holden Vectra driven by John Henderson.
Canberra's Sam Dale returns to the championship at Wakefield Park in his Mumbo Racing Ford Mondeo. The 24-year-old made his championship debut in round four of the current series at Wakefield Park on October 29, 2000, finishing 14th and 12th. He said he expected improved performances this weekend after making some repairs to the car, and changes to the gear ratios and springs. Dale is a helicopter pilot with the Royal Australian Navy and holds the rank of Sub-Lieutenant. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Information Systems.
Multiple Super Touring champion Paul Morris will have his first drive in a V8 Future Tourers car at Wakefield Park. He will test drive the aps Racing vt Holden Commodore raced by Victorian ray sidebottom in the opening practice sessions on Thursday. Morris said he had been asked by Sidebottom to evaluate the 400-horsepower Commodore and offer any technical assistance which may improve the performance of the car. Morris has past experience racing a V8 Supercar Holden in 1994 and in 2000. On Friday Morris will return to driving his Mount Cotton Estate Winery bmw 320i in the two qualifying sessions, and Sidebottom will be behind the wheel of his Commodore.
Sydney driver Paul Leabeater will have a new engine in his Redline Motorsport Hyundai Lantra at Wakefield Park. The engine was built by c & d Performance of Sydney, and Leabeater will use it for the first time in Thursday's opening practice sessions. He said he hoped the engine would help end the series of engine and other mechanical problems which have hampered him in the championship. Leabeater finished four of the opening five races of the season, but has since struggled through a lack of reliability. He said he was keen to drive the Hyundai again in the 2001-2002 championship.
Championship organisers toca australia have organised a pit-stop competition between teams in Goulburn on Saturday afternoon, starting at 4pm. The competition will be staged in Auburn Street and will coincide with all-day shopping crowds. Another novelty event on the programme is a match-race at the circuit on Sunday between Wakefield Park owner Garry Holt, Super Touring champion paul morris, ex-works Audi driver and Super Touring television commentator Cameron McConville, and V8 Future Tourers class leader Tim Shaw. All will drive identical auscars in the match-race.