Penultimate Round of GLT Hendrickson Qld Prodsports Championship at Ipswich Classic This Weekend
The penultimate round of the GLT Hendrickson Qld Prodsports Championship is kicking off at Queensland Raceways this weekend and the end of season prize may well be decided come the chequered flag on Sunday.
The 2017 season has been a hard fought battle and much of the field has been eroded with mechanical woes and accident repairs. On the flip side, local engine building legend Gary Stewart has never been busier as his plans for retirement are constantly being delayed by desperate racers.
Speaking from his Acacia Ridge operation, Stewart expressed mixed feelings about the unrelenting demand. "It's like a zombie apocalypse, they just keep coming back from the dead. I think Gavin Clay pretty much lives here, I had to record him as a resident on census night"
But whilst some race teams are failing, others are growing. The ranks of Wellpro are swelling and Commander in Chief Ron Prefontaine returns to sports car racing after taking out the Australian Trans-Am 5L title. Now behind the wheel of his slightly more vanilla Elise and flanked by son John in his mega-quick Lotus Exige and friend Andrew Adams in the Ginetta , Wellpro is shaking up the paddock and sending a warning to other teams.
Photo by Matthew Paul Photography
The CP Dental GT category has been dominated by Wayne Hennig all year, so far clean sweeping the first 4 rounds. With shorter odds than Winx, some punters are hopeful that Graham Lusty, John Prefontaine or Steve McFadden might be able to topple the Sunshine Coast builders dream run. Whilst it is a mathematical possibility that the Mosler or Lotus drivers could win the title from here, it would take a brave man to bet against anyone other than Hennig to hold aloft the trophy and complimentary tooth whitening kit come then end of the season.
The MR Tuning 2B category is not panning out how anyone would have imagined, and with local underworld figure "Jazzy" Jeff Hume likely out for the season, it makes for interesting times. On what planet can 25 year old mazda mx-5 with less than 200HP be leading the charge to Championship glory? Tim Janke, the quietly spoken "aero king" continues to do amazing things with his small package, although it is doubtful that he will be able to keep Roger Hill in the R35 GTR at bay. Barry Tanton has driven well in his 911 this year and with the V6 engined Ginetta of Ron Prefontaine in the mix, the mid pack battles are sure to be exciting. Luke Brown and Henri Van Roden are both driving 2B spec mx-5s and Van Roden is confident after some monumental improvements in his lap times at the recent mx-5 vs 86 challenge.
The Phat Wheels and tyres 2F category is headed up by James Hay, who is on double duty this weekend with an enduro stint in a Hyundai Excel. The Northside Airconditioning Entrpreneur and JDM Cult car speculator is confident that his vinyl wrapped NC mx-5 can stay ahead of a thinning field. Things may not be so cut and dry for this event with the maiden entry of Greg Quince in a glaring yellow Nissan 370Z. Quince is no stranger to 2F battles, but with his aging mx-5 failing to match the more modern NC's the next best thing was to buy a car with double the engine capacity and throw some treaded tyres on it. For the close observers of 2F sports car racing in Queensland this is a yet to be proven formula, as any straight line speed advantage is quickly eroded under brakes and in corners. The wild card will be Andrew Adams in the WellPro Elise, who prior to his "collision on debut" at Morgan Park was punching out some very respectable times. Dan Jileson is alternating driving duties with Lisa Montgomerie and "Sugar" Shane Freese who is coming second on the leaderboard is always a tough competitor. QR is a great track for his NB to shine with impressive pull out of corners, fantastic straightline speed and improving racecraft.
Angelo Servodio, Tony Ross and Julian Greenwood are keen to end the year on a high and enjoy some fantastic mx-5 battles.
A big thanks to our sponsors GLT Hendrickson, Lubrimaxx, Jost, DDS Trasnport Solutions, CP Dental, MR Tuning and Phat Wheels and tyres.