AUSF3: UTE: Oran Park: Round three preview

PROCAR Champ Series (Rd 3), 3-5 May, Oran Park, NSW Local drivers keen to shine in Procar Motorsport Spectacular at Oran Park - plus, Utes & BRutes on parade; hospital horsepower Local drivers are aiming for strong home-track performances...

PROCAR Champ Series (Rd 3), 3-5 May, Oran Park, NSW

Local drivers keen to shine in Procar Motorsport Spectacular at Oran Park
- plus, Utes & BRutes on parade; hospital horsepower

Local drivers are aiming for strong home-track performances when the Procar Champ Series goes to Oran Park, south of Sydney, for its third round on 3-5 May.

With more than 100 cars in the six national motor racing categories that comprise the Procar Champ Series, Oran Park will be a welcome opportunity for New South Wales-based contenders to take advantage of local knowledge.

Entries have not been finalised, but already a strong local line-up is expected.

These include Geoff Morgan (Chrysler Viper) and Brian Carr (Ford Mustang) in the Australian Nations Cup Championship; Geoff Full and Anton Mechtler (Mitsubishi Evo VII), Wayne Boatwright (Subaru STi), Barry Morcom (Commodore GTS) and Bob Pearson (Mazda RX-7) in GT Performance; Scott Loadsman (Commodore SS), Aaron McGill (Toyota Celica) and Nathan Pilkington (Mitsubishi FTO) in GT Production Cars; and Warren Luff, Damien White, Raj Sharma, Jack Elsegood (Falcons), with Dennis Cribbin among Commodore drivers in the V8 BRute Muster.

Guildford businessman Scott Loadsman has plenty of work to do in his bid for the Australian GT Production Car Championship, although with no opposition, he already leads the V8 Touring class after competing in just one round.

His 5.7 litre Holden Commodore SS is the fastest car in the field - it won comfortably at round two in Tasmania recently - and should be at its best on the fast-flowing Oran Park layout.

"We're first in class but still only equal-fifth outright in the GT Production Car Championship. After missing round one I've got to make up quite a few points and there will be no better place than Oran Park," Loadsman said.

"This will be the place for fans to see a V8 Commodore at its best."

Brian Carr, from Bargo, near Picton, is another driver fighting from behind for a championship.

Racing in Group Two of the Nations Cup, he also missed round one but cleaned up in round two.

Carr's mount in Tasmania was a Ferrari 360 Challenge, but he hopes his PHR Scuderia team will have a Ford Mustang Cobra RA ready for him at Oran Park.

He raced the Mustang at Oran Park last November in the GT Performance series, but it has been upgraded to the Nations Cup Group Two series this season.

"We've been waiting on a new six-speed sequential gearbox, which we need to take the Mustang's horsepower, and hopefully it will arrive in time for Oran Park. If it does, I expect the Mustang should be faster than the Ferrari - which will please the Ford fans," Carr said.

"On a track I know in a car I know I reckon we're a good chance. The PHR Scuderia team is giving me fantastic support."

Carr is fourth in Group Two, with the lead held by teammate and AFL personality Sam Newman.

When it comes to local knowledge, few racers are equipped better than Warren Luff, whose family-owned defensive and advanced driving school is based at Oran Park.

Luff joined the V8 Brute Muster series this season and has been a revelation, winning two pole positions and four of six races contested so far and earning a substantial series lead.

The three races for the Australian GT Performance Championship may be the most hotly-contested, with a wide-open field of high-performance sedans expected to enter.

Geoff Full's Penrith-based Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII should be in the front of the pack at Oran Park, as will Southern Highlands driver Wayne Boatwright, in a Subaru Impreza STi.

Their all-wheel drive turbo sedans will be up against the 400-horsepower Holden Commodore GTS of Barry Morcom, from Cabramatta, and Kingsgrove's Bob Pearson, in the latest Mazda RX-7.

Fans will experience the build-up to Oran Park in promotional activities scheduled for several western Sydney venues, including -

* Sunday 21 April - Campelltown Public Hospital, Ambervale, 8.30 am - 5 pm (in aid of Wheels for Life program, drivers Scott Loadsman & Ian Luff autograph free posters, Bathurst video giveaways and GTP racing Commodore display)

* Saturday 27 April - Parramatta v Canberra at Parramatta Stadium (ticket prizes and car display)

* Sunday 28 April - Wests Tigers v Northern Eagles at Leichhardt Stadium (ticket prizes and car display)

* Thursday 2 May - Westfield Parramatta, Penrith Plaza and Westpoint Blacktown (car displays and driver autographs)

Utes and BRutes on parade

A Call has gone out for Sydney's best road utes to show their stuff in a major event for ute enthusiasts at Oran Park on Sunday 5 May.

A Ute Muster with display competitions in seven categories will be a feature of round three of the Procar Champ Series meeting, which will see three races in the V8 BRute Muster for Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore utes.

More than 20 drivers, including local identities Warren Luff, Jack Elsegood, Dennis Cribbin and Damien White, will contest the V8 BRute Muster, an eight-round national championship.

"We want to see the best utes from Sydney and the region out in force on Sunday week," said Ross Palmer, Chairman of event organiser Procar Australia.

"Whereever we have held ute musters we've seen some fantastic utes of all types and models, from classic Holden FJs, to the roughest farm utes and the latest V8s.

"This is the first time we've had a Ute Muster at Oran Park and we're keen to see local enthusiasts answer the challenge to show the best road ute in Australia."

As an incentive to join in, all road utes and their drivers will be admitted free to Oran Park if accompanied by a paying adult passenger. Entry to the Ute Muster categories is free and the winners will receive trophies.

The Ute Muster at Oran Park will be the second of five that will be staged trackside in support of the V8 BRute races this year.

Hospital gets a horsepower boost from GTP driver

Sydney driver Scott Loadsman is lending some V8 horsepower in a race for funds to help the Campbelltown Public Hospital.

Loadsman, from Guildford, has joined the Wheels for Life project of sponsor Paul Wakeling and aims to raise $50,000 through his efforts behind the wheel of a Holden Commodore SS in the Australian GT Production Car Championship.

He says he will donate all prize money earned this year and will take donations in return for 2000 team t-shirts to be given away during round three of the series at Oran Park on 3-5 May.

"Paul is a Holden dealer and when I asked him to sponsor my racing Holden he said he'd do it if my C&L Tiles team got behind Wheels for Life. It's a great project and we're thrilled to help."

Loadsman and fellow driver Ian Luff will display the V8 Commodore and autograph free racing posters outside the hospital all day next Sunday.

FAST FACTS about the Procar Champ Series at Oran Park

* Saturday & Sunday, 4-5 May. Official practice Friday 3 May).

* Categories - Nations Cup (Rd 3), GT Performance (Rd 3), GT Production Cars (Rd 3), V8 BRutes (Rd 3), Formula 3 (Rd 3), Mitsubishi Mirages (Rd 3), NSW HQ Championship (Rd 4).

* Saturday (From 9 am) - Qualifying, including Nations Cup Top 8 Eliminator; plus HQ Holden race.

* Sunday (From 9 am) - 16 races, all categories. Ute Muster display and competition for road utes.

* Tickets - Adults $15 all areas (Saturday), $25 plus $10 paddock/pit (Sunday). Students 11-16 years $10 all areas (Saturday), $10 plus $10 paddock/pit (Sunday). Ute drivers enter free on Sunday with paying adult passenger.

* Information - Oran Park (02) 4646 1004, or and

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About this article
Series Supercars , F3
Drivers Geoff Morgan , Geoff Full , Wayne Boatwright , Aaron McGill , Scott Loadsman , Ian Luff , Anton Mechtler , Warren Luff , Jack Elsegood , Damien White , Barry Morcom , Bob Pearson