A stellar field of Victorians will battle with a strong contingent of NSW drivers for the 40th running of the Australian Compact Speedcar Championship, supported by 1 Stop Property Services this Saturday night at Rushworth Speedway in Victoria.
The event has attracted 25 nominations which is made up of 12 drivers from NSW and 13 drivers from the host state of Victoria and is expected to be one of the most hard-fought battles in the 40-year history of the event.
Leading the charge for the home state is Justin Paull. After coming home in fourth in last season’s Australian Championship, Paull, who also was victorious in last season’s Victorian Title will be hoping to advance to the top step of the podium when the chequered flag falls.
Also flying the flag for Victoria is Victorian Compact Speedcar Club President Butch Hutchinson. Having raced for many years in the 1980s and 90s, before taking a break, Hutchinson returned to the driver’s seat three years ago and last season scored some impressive results, including third in the Victorian Title and second in the overall point score. Hutchinson has been one of the front runners this season and will no doubt be one to watch.
Another driver in contention for the Australian Championship is Louis Rodriguez. A recent win at Nyora Raceway has seen Rodriguez have the perfect build-up to the Australian Championship and with numerous impressive performances in both Victoria and NSW throughout season 2017-18, he is in with a real chance of taking the win.
Other drivers from Victoria who will be looking for a good showing are Andrew Lardner, Mark Hutchinson, Allan Pitcher, Keith Astrella, Mathew Brown, Glen Wiles, Tania Hallett, Scott Thomson, Jason Crawford, Boofa Curren and Craig McKimmie.
When it comes to NSW drivers, there are no shortage on contenders, including fifth-place finisher in last season’s Australian Championship, Mark Heaton. It has been a dominant 2017-18 season for Heaton after notching up six feature-race wins in – row and at times looking unstoppable and therefore heads into the Australian Championship as one of the favourites.
Current Victorian Title holder Rod Francis will also be looking for a good result as he once again travels from NSW to take on the Australian Championship. There have been a few good results through the season for Francis, a two-time NSW Title winner, who will be hoping for a repeat of his Victorian Title form.
After placing third in the Victorian Title earlier this season and recording his maiden feature-race win in the class last Saturday night at Cullen Bullen Raceway (NSW), newcomer Ayden Elliott enters the Australian Title with plenty of confidence. This season, Elliott has travelled between NSW and Victoria on several occasions and is more than capable of being an Australian Championship front-running challenger.
There are a host of other competitors from NSW who are more than capable of snaring the Australian Championship victory including veteran Craig Hickey, NSW Club President Gaby Yammouni, Jason Essai, Darren Margules, Bruce Adams, and the ACT-based Rawlings family, which consists of Rob Snr and his two sons: Rob Jnr and Brad.
The format will see all drivers compete in three heat races of eight laps in duration, which will make scoring points vitally important, followed by the 30-lap Australian Championship deciding feature race when the driver who has topped the points will elect an inside or outside start on the front row.
The Victorian Compact Speedcar Club would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of the 2018 Australian Championship: 1 Stop Property Services, Meguiar’s, MotoSign.com.au, Pearce Performance Products, Max Dumesny Motorsport, Thomo’s Cash 4 Scrap, Indy Race Parts, American Tire & Racing Services, and Street Appeal Detailing.
2018 Australian Championship Nominations (25): V2 Butch Hutchinson N2 Craig Hickey N4 Rod Francis V5 Andrew Lardner V6 Mark Hutchinson N6 Gaby Yammouni V7 Allan Pitcher V8 Mathew Brown V9 Glen Wiles V11 Louis Rodriquez V12 Justin Paull N13 Jason Essai N14 Darren Margules V15 Tania Hallett N15 Rob Rawlings Snr V16 Scott Thomson N16 Brad Rawlings V18 Jason Crawford V23 Boofa Curren V24 Craig McKimmie N26 Mark Heaton V27 Keith Astrella N63 Bruce Adams N69 Ayden Elliott N86 Rob Rawlings Jnr
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