Excel Cup Resumes After Mid-Season Break.
Between race four of round five, and race one of this weekend’s sixth round, nearly ten weeks will have passed since the Track Attack Australia Excel Cup contingent did battle for championship points… YES, it really has been that long, and NO, it doesn’t actually feel like it, but nevertheless, the championship FINALLY resumes this weekend, at Queensland Raceway.
While we’re excited to have the Korean cars, and their pilots, back in action, the truth is that the mid-season break couldn’t have come at a better time. In the opening five rounds of the season, many drivers and teams struck trouble, and therefore, quite a few of them have spent the break getting their machines back in shape, in readiness for the final three rounds of the season.
Round 6 will be the fourth of five visits to the 3.12km Willowbank venue, near Ipswich, in 2018 – a venue that has produced some thrilling racing already this season, and we’re expecting no different this time round.
Brett Parrish, of the Brett Parrish Racing Organisation (BPRO) holds a 37-point championship lead, with only three rounds to go, over Scott Green, who is 25 points clear of Parrish’s team-mate, Darren Whittington.
Last time out, it was the BPRO team-mates, Parrish and Whittington, who stole the show. Whittington won the round – his second of the season, but the pair scored two wins each – a trend we’ve seen in four of the five rounds staged thus far. The pair also featured in the closest finish we’ve ever seen, in a Track Attack Australia Excel Cup race, when Brett edged out Darren, in Race 3, by only 83 one-thousandths of a second (0.0083).
Scott Green is the man standing in the way of a BPRO championship 1-2 at present. Green’s qualifying form has been exceptional, and, after twenty 2018 championship races, he has more wins than anyone else, but his 37-point deficit, to Parrish, is the result of one or two bad races, where he’s been caught up in incidents with the likes of Cam Wilson and, also, Daniel Peasey.
A 37-point deficit is erasable, but it would require Parrish to have a bad run of luck – something he hasn’t had yet this season. The points leader has finished all twenty races thus far, and finished all of them inside the top ten, and even nabbed a round win as well.
Should Parrish maintain this consistency, another Track Attack Australia Excel Cup title awaits him.
This weekend sees the return of John Sheridan to the grid, for the first time since Round 1.
After the opening day of school, back in April, Sheridan was the man to beat in 2018, as he won the opening two races of the season, but his success turned into total misfortune on the very next day, when he was caught up in an incident, with Simon Winters, in Race 3 – an incident that saw his car written off.
Since then, Sheridan has been rebuilding, and regrouping, and he’ll will be out to pick things up right where he left off, once racing gets underway.
Ben Smith also returns to the grid this weekend. Like Sheridan, Smith has been rebuilding a car, after he was caught up in a multi-car wreck during the final race of round 3, at Lakeside Park back in June,
This championship is Brett Parrish’s to lose, but at the same time, there’s no such thing as a sure thing when the Track Attack Australia Excel Cup goes racing – it always throws up a surprise result or two, and we expect the same again this weekend.
As always, the schedule consists of Qualifying and four races (2 x 10 laps & 2 x 12), which will all be run on the ‘National’ circuit at QR.
This is the final hit-out for those drivers competing in the Excel Nationals at Phillip Island later this month, and the last time we’ll see the series in action before the, now annual, 200km endurance showdown, which will be held on the opening weekend of November
2018 Race Winners
The Track Attack Australia Excel Cup is proudly supported by: Castrol, Dunlop and Disc Brakes Australia.