Aussie Racing Cars will join the Shannons Nationals at Sydney Motorsport Park for its penultimate round. Find out how their season has unfolded.
Round 1 Baskerville Raceway
The category opened up its season in Tasmania with Mustang pilot Justin Ruggier dominating the opening two races for the perfect start to the round and year.
Ruggier finished second in the third race as 2017 runner-up Kel Treseder opened his season account with the win before taking out the final race to make it two wins each for both drivers.
Unfortunately for Ruggier, he fell to 16th in the final race to finish seventh outright, undoing all his good work from the start of the weekend.
Behind the wheel of a Toyota Aurion, Adam Gowans was the best of the locals, picking up three podiums to finish second outright.
Rounding out the podium was a consistent Kyle Ensbey who finished the weekend with two top-five finishes.
Despite three podium finishes, an 18th in the third race saw Joel Heinrich drop to fourth outright, while four top–ten finishes was enough Reece Chapman to sneak into the fifth at the end of the round.
Round 2 Phillip Island
A clean sweep across three races made it four consecutive round wins for Treseder, following his opening round win at Baskerville and two final round wins from 2017 in Gold Coast and Newcastle.
As the only other driver to finish every race on the podium, South Australian Heinrich took out a well-deserved second.
Ensbey’s 12th place finish in race one created a mountain to climb for the Queenslander, but a third place in the second race and runner-up in the final race saw him sneak onto the podium for the second week in a row.
At the conclusion of the round, Ensbey finished on the same amount of points as Joshua Anderson, however Ensbey’s podiums trumped Anderson’s three top-five finishes.
The battle for fifth was won in the final race as Reece Chapman leapfrogged Blake Sciberras to finish the weekend on top despite trailing him all weekend.
Round 3 Winton Motor Raceway
After finishing on the podium for the opening two rounds, Ensbey finally got his breakthrough round victory in a dramatic finish over second placed Sciberras that went all the way down to the wire.
Neither Sciberras or Ensbey finished on the podium in the opening two races, with Sciberras grabbing fourth twice and Ensbey placing fifth and seventh respectively.
Ensbey’s win in the third race and Sciberras’ fifth saw the pair level on points, before Ensbey’s second win to Sciberras’s runner-up saw Ensbey claim the round by two points.
Consistency was key for Anderson who secured his second podium for the year, the Victorian ending the round with two sixths, a fifth and a fourth respectively.
A third in the final race to Leigh Bowler saw the Camaro driver claim fourth outright, his best round result for the year, while Reece Chapman secured his third consecutive top-five finish.
The final race was one to forget for Treseder and Ruggier as the pair had their own battle for top spot in the lead up, each claiming a win in the first two races, before crashing to 15th and 17th. The pair ended the round in sixth and seventh.
Round 4 Ipswich
Ruggier put his horror Winton ending behind him to win his first round for the season, despite not winning a race. The New South Welshman was the only driver to finish every race on the podium, his runner-up in the final race securing the win.
A ninth place finish in the first race prevented Joel Heinrich from overtaking Ruggie, with only three points separating the two by the end of the weekend, even though Heinrich managed two race wins.
A fifth and sixth either side of a race win for Sciberras saw him settle for third outright, one point ahead of Paul Morris who was unable to recover from his disappointing first race 10th.
Ending the round in fifth, Ensbey was the another driver to rue a missed opportunity with his opening race win wasted due to a tenth place finish in the final race.
It was another weekend to forget for the ninth placed Treseder, as his two podiums in the first and last race were overshadowed by an uncharacteristic 22nd and 23rd.
Round 5 The Bend
Heinrich’s consistency was finally rewarded in front of a home crowd as the South Australian took out the round in style, claiming four wins from four races.
In a fairly unchanged grid throughout the whole weekend, Justin Ruggier continued to enjoy his good run of form, claiming second outright, while Treseder bounced back onto the podium for the first time since Phillip Island.
Ensbey’s four fifth placings saw him finish fourth outright, making him the only driver to finish in the top-five in every round of the season thus far.
Rounding out the top five for the round was Anderson thanks to a third place finish in the third race and a sixth in two races.
Making an enjoyable maiden appearance for 2018, Daniel Price held his own to finish sixth outright after claiming third in the opening race and second in the final endurance race.
The Top 10 after five rounds
1.Kyle Ensbey 244
2 Joel Heinrich 242
3 Kel Treseder 239
4 Justin Ruggier 236
5 Blake Sciberras 234
6 Joshua Anderson 232
7 Reece Chapman 228
8 Leigh Bowler 211
9 Brendon Tucker 195
10 Craig Thompson 193
The Ladies Class
It’s been a two-horse race all year in the ladies class, as Madison Dunston holds a five point lead over Charlotte Poynting after trading round wins throughout the season.
Dunston drew first blood in Baskerville after finishing 11th outright, her highest result for the season, before Poynting won the next two rounds, including her season high finish of 13th in Phillip Island.
A second round win to Dunston in Ipswich put the girls on equal points setting up a huge race in South Australia, where Dunston and her Camaro took the spoils.
The Shannons Nationals at Sydney Motorsport Park will take place on 21-23 September with live coverage of Sunday’s sessions available live and free at motorsportaustraliachampionships.com.au.