Excel Cup reaches half-way mark with first ‘Headline Event’ appearance of 2018.

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After headlining the opening three events in the 2018 Queensland Racing Drivers Championship (QRDC), the Track Attack Australia Excel Cup now moves onto the bill for a ‘Headline Event’, as the series heads to Queensland Raceway, for the second time this year, to contest Round 4 of the championship, as part of the annual ‘2 Days of Thunder’ meeting.

It’s the middle of a very busy period for the championship. This is the second of three rounds being held in the space of only five weeks – Round 5 of the championship will take place, again at QR, just two weeks after this fourth round – making life very difficult for all involved, as tight turnarounds put pressure on any teams or drivers that have been working to repair damaged cars or mechanical dramas during this period.

In the opening three rounds, there have been twelve races, and in those twelve races, we’ve seen seven different race winners, but after the previous round at Lakeside Park, the series has been turned on its ear.

Cam Wilson’s title defence was on shaky ground going into Round 3, only having won one of the previous eight races, and failing to finish another, but after a weekend to forget at Lakeside Park, that defence was in tatters, and not long after the meeting had concluded, it was effectively over.

The big news coming into Round 4 is that Cam Wilson will not contest the next two rounds of the series, after being handed a 90-day suspension for his role in two separate incidents in a dramatic third round three weekends ago.

The major incident came in Race 4, when Wilson and Scott Kelly came together at ‘hungry corner’, triggering a five-car pile-up, that also included Daniel Natoli, Aaron Cameron and Benjamin Smith. Wilson’s team-mate, Holly Espray, also sustained damage in the incident.

Wilson isn’t the only one who’ll be watching this one from the sidelines, as a result of that incident – his team-mate Liam Jensen is still not back on-track after his incident in Round 2 of the championship last month.

In the lead-up to the event, there was doubt as to whether Daniel Natoli and Aaron Cameron would be starters in Round 4. The tight turnaround had left them in a race against time to be on the grid, but we're happy to report that both men will take their place on the grid this weekend.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Benjamin Smith, who stated on social media that, as a result of the incident at Lakeside Park, he'd be missing the next two rounds, if not the remainder of the season, due to the damage sustained, but he's declared that he'll be back, as the category is "just too much fun".

The championship picture is an interesting one. Statistics suggest that Scott Green would be the man to beat, having scored two pole positions and three race wins thus far, but that’s not the case. Instead, it’s The Brett Parish Racing Organisation duo of Brett Parish and Darren Whittington taking charge at the front of the field.

Darren Whittington was victorious in the opening round, with his team boss winning the second round. It’s Parish’s consistency that sees him hold an 8-point lead going into this weekend’s four championship races.

Mick McCloud won the last round of the series at Lakeside Park, and will look to carry that form to QR, where he was fighting in the lower-half of the top ten during round 2 of the series back at the start of May.

Daniel Peasey will be looking to get his title fight back on-track, while Simon Winters, Tyrone Gautier and Frank Mammarella will also pose a threat at the front of the field. Just behind them, Mark Goldspink, Steve Pilkington and Dave Shinners will all be hopeful of a repeat of their top-ten form, from when the series last visited Willowbank in May.

Race 13 of the championship, on Saturday morning, will be a special one for Cliff Sedgley, who’ll compete in his 100th Track Attack Australia Excel Cup race. A great milestone for one of the likeable characters of the series paddock.

Competitors will hit the track for unofficial practice on Friday, before the categories starts the race meeting proper, with their Qualifying session first up on Saturday morning, at 8am.

Track Attack Australia Excel Cup
Points After Round 3 of 8.

Position

Driver

Points

1st

Brett Parish

227

2nd

Darren Whittington

219

3rd

Scott Green

202

4th

Tyrone Gautier

181

5th

Cam Wilson

176