Production Nationals set up big 2020

Sydney Motorsport Park has played host to a number of national series over the weekend for the annual Production Car Nationals event.

With drivers and teams experiencing all kinds of weather challenges across the two days, it ended up becoming a dramatic weekend.

Following on from the action-packed round, motorsport.org.au/Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships reviews each category’s results.

MRF Tyres Australian Production Cars Series

It was the weekend’s headline act with four races across the two days and it was the talented duo of Tim Leahey and Beric Lynton who came away with outright top honours after securing two race wins.

With the category also sharing the grid with the New South Wales Production Car Series, the Bruce Lynton BM Service BMW M3 drivers proved mighty consistent all weekend, as two top-five finishes complemented their race wins for the round.

Despite winning the first and third race, a DNF to Dimitri Agathos in the final race of the weekend saw him cough up both the potential round victory and a second place – the Subaru WRX STi driver eventually ending the round in third place outright.

Agathos’ retirement opened up the door for Cem Yucel and Iain Salteri to steer their Harding Performance Volkswagen Golf to an outright second after being the only team to finish in the top three in every race.

There is quite a gap between rounds for the MRF Tyres Australian Production Car Series, with their next meeting to be at The Bend Motorsport Park as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships on 12-14 June.

Radical Australia Cup

The Radical Australia Cup had a great opening race meeting with 16 drivers entered into the season opener at its home track, as a bunch of familiar names contend for the round win.

With the category holding two 50-minute races over the two days, it was reigning champion Chris Perini and multiple champion Peter Paddon who were constantly fighting it out for top spot.

At the end of the weekend though, it was Perini who came away with the round after taking out comfortable wins in both races, both of which were more than 40 seconds over Paddon.

The battle for the final step on the podium was much closer as a third and fifth place to Stephen Champion was enough to pip newcomer Carmelo Bonventura who finished fourth in both races.

Remarkably, the difference for the end result came down to the first race as just over one second separated Paddon, Champion and Bonventura when they crossed the line.

The Radical Australia Cup’s next round will be part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships and the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6-hour on 10-12 April.

Australian Prototype Series

It was a weekend of complete contrast for the Australian Prototype Series as one race took place under the sun, while the second race shook things up a little bit as the rain fell over the Eastern Creek track.

The two races also saw two different top threes, eventually playing a part in determining the final round results. However it was race two victor Michael Naguib who took home the round win after securing his first ever race win in the series.

With a number of drivers failing to come to grips with the wet-weather conditions, Naguib took advantage of their errors and took the win over Peter Paddon and Phil Hughes, his win adding to a first race fourth placed finish.

It was that opening race where 2018 champion Jason Makris sent out a message to his title rivals with a commanding victory over Jam Motorsport teammates Mark Laucke and JP Drake.

Despite finishing down the field in the second race, Makris had done enough to finish the weekend in second, while Paddon rounded out the podium and took out the Radical class.

The Australian Prototype Series’ next round for the year will be at Winton with the Shannons Motorsport Australia
Championships in May.

Australian GT Trophy Series

Behind the wheel of the KFC Audi R8, Gary Higgon and Nathan Antunes claimed a well-deserved victory over some of the Australian GT Trophy Series’ big names in the second round of the year.

One of those names was points leader Matt Stoupas, who had gotten off to a strong start with victory in the first race over 2018 Champion Nick Kelly and the Higgon/Antunes Audi, only to have misfortune in the second race and drop to fifth outright.

With Kelly also suffering a setback in second race, Higgon and Antunes managed to pick up a race win and comfortably take out the round.

The next round of the series will form part of the Motorsport Australia GT Championship as a support category for the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour, a round of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships.