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
|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|