Several new cars will join the expanding ranks of the Australian Manufacturers Championship this weekend at Wakefield Park.
The production-based series headlines the eighth round of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals at the Goulburn track which will also see the Radical Australia Cup, Australian Swift Racing Series and three NSW State Championship categories run.
It will be a critical round for the production-based series as the championship enters its final phase with key BMW runners hitting their strides against the dominant Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution competitors.
BMW entries will make their AMChamps debut this weekend amongst a competitive 21-car grid that also features entries from Mitsubishi, Renault, Mazda, Honda, HSV, Toyota and MINI.
A second BMW 135i for the Sherrin Rentals team will allow brothers Iain and Grant Sherrin to compete head-to-head for the first time this year, after several strong performances combining in the same car.
Meanwhile, well-known BMW racer Luke Searle will make his return to the track this weekend in a brand new M135.
Barry Graham will co-drive alongside the former Super Touring front runner in the new Roadchill express entry – a slightly similar specification entry to the Sherrin brothers’ 135i entries.
The first Renault Megane RS2 to compete at a national level in Australia will also make its debut, to be driven by former Australian GT Champion Mark Eddy and co-driver Francois Jouy.
The 21-strong field includes new championship favourite Garry Holt, who will have former Formula 3 racer Nathan Morcom sharing the driving duties in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
Morcom is replacing current points leader Ryan McLeod who is concentrating on finishing the build and acceptance of three V8-powered Ford Focus entries for next year’s Bathurst 12 Hour.
Fellow Mitsubishi pilot Dylan Thomas and BMW ace Beric Lynton are expected to provide the sternest opposition to the multiple Production Car Champion this weekend.
The AMChamps field will tackle twin, 200km races across the weekend.
Round eight of the Shannons Nationals also includes the season finale of the one-make Radical Australia Cup series, with the V8-powered SR8s seeking an outright track record at Wakefield on their first visit to the circuit.
The Wakefield Park lap record is currently held by a Formula 3 car however the V8 powered Radicals have not yet tackled the 2.2km circuit in anger.
While Neale Muston has already secured the V8 title, a close battle in the four-cylinder SR3 battle is ongoing between class leader Simon Haggarty and Liam Talbot, the pair split by just 29 points ahead of the finale.
The Australian Suzuki Swift Racing Series will tackle a series of sprint races in their penultimate round.
Making up a bumper program, the NSW Formula Ford Championship, NSW Production Touring Cars and NSW HQ Holden Series will join the Shannons Nationals this weekend, with more than 100 cars set to compete across six classes.
Sunday’s racing will be streamed live on the Shannons Nationals website.