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Aussie Racing Cars introduces ‘joker’ round

Daniel Herrero

Thursday 21st February, 2019 - 11:39am

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Aussie Racing Cars will use a joker round system in 2019 pic: Digital Realism

Aussie Racing Cars competitors will have the opportunity to double their weekend points haul by calling a ‘joker card’ at a round of their choosing this year.

The series operates a points system whereby series points are awarded on the basis of round results, and it is those series points accumulated for the weekend which shall be doubled if the joker is taken.

While several series have obliged drivers to drop their worst round or races from their total series points score, including Touring Car Masters presently and the Supercars Championship in years past, the use of a joker card system is believed to be unique at a national level.

According to Aussie Racing Cars category manager Brad Ward, the concept has been introduced to spice up the contest and introduce a strategic element to the season.

“It’s about mixing it up and doing new things each year, and making the points score interesting and more exciting each year,” Ward told Speedcafe.com.

“It’s our 20th year so we thought it’s a good time to introduce something new because we’ve basically been at the same points score for a long time now.

“In addition to that, last year and over the last few years we’ve seen teams have challenging rounds throughout the year – it might be a mechanical failure or a driver error – so we thought that a joker round might give teams the opportunity to get back in the game by calling their joker card on their local round or their favourite track or a track that they felt like they might perform well at, and get themselves back in the game, or push themselves ahead if they got that call right.

“The thought is that people will probably call it at their home event, which might help them in the overall series pointscore.”

Each driver will have one joker card to use across the course of the seven-round series, and must formally notify category management using the nomination form at least 30 minutes prior to qualifying.

A well-played joker could prove invaluable to a series contender who has suffered a bad round, given that the tightly separated points system which pays each finisher of a race remains otherwise unchanged.

One such example is Justin Ruggier, who was on to win the opening round before a crankshaft breakage, then suffered an engine failure in Round 2, on his way to fourth in the standings at year-end.

Ruggier recently revealed the look which his Western Sydney Motorsport entry will carry in 2019, with the black and gold Hertz look evolving into an aggressive fluoro green design.

Aussie Racing Cars organisers have released a 30-car entry list for Round 1, including the return of series founder Phil Ward.

The season starts at the Superloop Adelaide 500 on February 28-March 3.

Entry list: Round 1, Adelaide Parklands Circuit

Num Team/Sponsor Driver Body type
2 Aussie Racing Cars 20th Anniversary Phil Ward Toyota Aurion
6 Silkgate Group Ian Chivas Nissan Altima
8 Western Sydney Motorsport Justin Ruggier Mustang
11 Supergroups Conplex Constructions Leigh Bowler Camaro
12 CNW Electrical Wholesaler Daniel Price Cruze
15 Lustre Bar Melbourne Adam Clark Camaro
17 Road Rage Industries Peter Herd Camaro
23 Opteon Motorsport Johnathon Bloxsom Camaro
25 Castrol Racing Reece Chapman Camaro
27 Envirogen Racing Troy Dontas Toyota Aurion
36 RDA Brakes/Perenso Joshua Anderson Camaro
38 Heinrich Performance Glenn Boyd Ford Coupe
41 Kody Garland Racing / MTA NSW Kody Garland Nissan Altima
46 PT Painting Pawel Faber EuroGT
47 Procool Racing Troy Jones Camaro
51 Lustre Bar Melbourne Emma Clark Camaro
52 WSM / Gencom Wireless Solutions Charlotte Poynting Mustang
55 McKittrick Racing Team Matthew McKittrick Mustang
58 PZ Racing / Crystal Clear Audio Jack Boyd Falcon
63 Uebergang Transport Adam Uebergang Camaro
64 Western Sydney Motorsport Craig Woods Mustang
65 Axil Coffee Roasters David Makin Camaro
68 WSM / Vroom / Prime Excavation Blake Sciberras Mustang
72 Western Sydney Motorsport Craig Thompson Mustang
75 KKP Motorsport Kel Treseder Camaro
78 Western Sydney Motorsport Grant Thompson Mustang
88 Woods Racing Brad Woods Camaro
96 Aughterson’s Insurance Brokers Jeff Watters Nissan Altima
100 Local Legends Snacks Tony Quinn Mustang
111 ACE Construction Group Adam Casuccio Toyota Aurion

Justin Ruggier’s new look for the 2019 Aussie Racing Cars season pic: Western Sydney Motorsport Facebook

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