New faces join critical round for APS title fight
Several new faces will join the Australian Prototype Series this weekend at Queensland Raceway, as the overall title battle enters a critical phase.
Queenslanders David Barram (Chiron), David Rodgie (JMW Clubman), Brian Pettit (Minetti) and Richard Mattea (Infiniti Sports 1300) join the APS regulars this weekend looking to impress on home turf against the national contingent.
Also joining the field this weekend will be New South Wales’ Peter Hill (ADR3) and the returning Graeme Cook, who re-joins the series after almost two years out of the seat of his West WR1000.
It’s a travelling contingent that is amid battling out arguably the most intense title race of any national-level category this year – with just 71 points covering the top seven drivers in the championship standings.
115 points are up for grabs in both Queensland this weekend and the season finale’ at Phillip Island in September, ensuring the title remains wide open to a host of drivers.
Phillip Hughes continues to hold sway at the top of the standings, however the driver that has led since the opening round of the season saw his healthy lead eroded last time out at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The man doing the chasing was Mark Laucke, who swept the round to become the third winner from three rounds this year and closed to within five points of the series lead in his bid for a second national title.
Terry Peovitis sits third in his FL1 open wheeler, just nine points from the lead and heading to a circuit where the 1000cc cars have tasted success in the past.
The ever-consistent John-Paul Drake sits fourth in the standings, some 44 points from the series lead.
Drake has been the ‘accumulator’ this year, racking up points consistently with a breakthrough round victory seemingly not too far away.
Winton winner Jason Makris sits fifth, just three points further back, while Chris Sutton remains in contention in sixth place in his Radical SR3.
The annual visit to Queensland Raceway is unlikely to make the championship picture any clearer, with the circuit renowned for producing thrilling racing amongst the APS ranks.
The long straights are perfect for slipstreaming battles and the numerous heavy braking zones allow for overtaking into slow-to-mid speed corners; all strengths of the various cars represented on the APS grid.
Each of the top six is entered this weekend in a bid to make a late play for a run at the championship, with one trip-up or dominating weekend set to be decisive in the broader title picture.
Newcomer Dave Barrum is expected to contend this weekend, given strong form in the local QRDC Sports Car championship.
His British-built Chiron Sports Car won three races at the most recent round of the state series held at the Ipswich circuit and will look to use his local knowledge to mix it with the key national runners this weekend.
His pace at state level this year was enough to qualify him within the top six of the APS field the last time a majority of the competitors visited QR twelve months ago.
Meanwhile, the addition of Mattea and his infiniti Sports, Rodgie’s JMW Clubman and Pettit’s Minetti add to the depth and variety of the field assembled this weekend – with no less than eight different manufacturers represented.
On that last visit by the cars of the APS, Roger I’Anson dominated proceedings by grabbing pole position and three wins in his West WR1000.
While the South Australian dominated, the battles behind were highly competitive with FL1, Sports Racer and Radicals all running in close company – setting the stage for similar competition this weekend.
The Australian Prototype Series will tackle three races this weekend, including qualifying and race one on Saturday and two decisive races on Sunday that will be streamed live via Nationals TV.
Visit www.prototypeseries.com.au for more information.
Australian Prototype Series – Title race – After 3 of 5 rounds
Phil Hughes (Radical) 278
Mark Laucke (West) 273
Terry Peovitis (RFR 1000) 269
John-Paul Drake (West) 234
Jason Makris (West) 231
Chris Sutton (Radical) 182
Entry list – Round 4
|2||Kumho Cup||Byran Bay Signs & Trophies||Peter Hill||NSW||ADR 3||1500||White|
|4||FL1||Orlando Phoenix||Terry Peovitis||WA||RFR F1000||998||Red/Whi/Grey|
|22||Kumho Cup||Richard Mattea||Richard Mattea||QLD||Infiniti Sports||1300||Red/Whi/Purp|
|23||Kumho Cup||Rodgie Racing||David Rodgie||QLD||J.M.W Clubman||1800||Blue/Silver|
|33||Kumho Cup||Taylor Collision/ Laucke Flour||Michael Whiting||SA||West WR1000||998||Black|
|35||RADICAL||321 Motorsport||Chris Sutton||VIC||Radical SR3||1500||Blue|
|42||RADICAL||Hughes Supercar Services||Philip Hughes||VIC||Radical SR3||1500||Red|
|44||P1||Mirage Racing – Marina Mirage Gold Coast||Jason Makris||QLD||West WX10||1400||Yellow/Black|
|46||Kumho Cup||David Barram||David Barram||QLD||Chiron LMP3||2000||Oranage|
|55||P1||Laucke Flour Mills||Mark Laucke||SA||West WX10||998||Black|
|65||Kumho Cup||Racemoves||Graeme Cook||SA||West WR1000||998||Orange|
|66||Kumho Cup||Jam Motorsport||John-Paul Drake||SA||West WX10||998||Multi|
|117||Kumho Cup||Brian Pettit||Brian Pettit||QLD||Minetti SSV1||1500||White|