Trans-Am Title Fight Heats Up
A familiar face returning to the paddock and a season-high grid beckons for this weekend as the Performance Wheels Australian Trans-Am Series heads into the second half of the season at round four as part of the Queensland Racing Drivers Championship at Queensland Raceway on July 8 and 9.
Former Australian Trans-Am regular Geoff Fane returns to the series, teaming up with Ian Woodward’s Fataz Competition Engines team to steer the #31 Ford Mustang campaigned successfully by New Zealander Shane Wigston at rounds two and three. The return of Fane adds to a 16 car-field ready to do battle at the Paperclip.
The Australian Trans-Am fraternity also welcomes back Sportsman Series competitors Colin Velt and Harry Charalambous in a pair of Ford Mustangs. Charalambous returns to the track after repairs made to the #33 Mustang following an incident through turn one at Sydney Motorsport Park during the 2016 Muscle Car Masters.
Australian Trans-Am Trophy Series leader Shannon O’Brien extended his lead at the half-way mark of the championship with a clean sweep at the 2 Days of Thunder. Ron Prefontaine went onto claim Five Litre honours and New Zealander Tony Rutherford secured a second consecutive Sportsman class round win.
The last round also the return of 2016 Trophy series runner-up Brett Curran, John Samios in the Fataz Competition Engines-prepared Chevrolet Camaro and Mark Bowtell in his Pontiac Firebird.
Samios returned to the series in stellar fashion with a couple of third placings, while Curran displayed impressive speed as he qualified third in his Mustang before electrical gremlins put an end to his weekend. Bowtell commenced his 2017 campaign with a quartet of second placings in the Five Litre class.
O’Brien (297 points), leads the Trophy Series ahead of Ian Palmer (242 points) and Anthony Tenkate (182 points). 2012 Five Litre champion Gareth Jones (251 points) holds a six point advantage over 2014 Five Litre champion Mike Collins (245 points) and Prefontaine (200 points), while Rutherford (285 points) leads the two-way-battle with Dan Fleming (207 points) for the Sportsman class title.