Entertaining battles set for Prototype opener

The Australian Prototype Series will welcome a number old and new faces for season 2019 as entrants continue to join the series ahead of next month’s season opener.

One of six categories taking part in the Shannons Nationals’ visit to Sydney Motorsport Park, reigning series winner Jason Makris has already confirmed his intention to defend the title.

Makris’ biggest threat will come through former winner Mark Laucke who will be eager to improve on a far from desirable 2018 and recreate his form of 2017.

Bother drivers will be behind the wheel of the new Torando Wolf, as will be young gun Daniel Gonzalez. Gonzalez’s purchase of the world-class car would be considered a strong statement from the rookie.

Joining Makris and Laucke in the P1 class is the popular John-Paul Drake and 2018 round three’s winner David Barram. For Drake, 2018 was a season of missed opportunities after claiming four consecutive podiums. Drake came close to a round win in Sandown but was denied by Makris in the last race.

Phillip Hughes is once again the man to beat in the Radical class and will be looking to better his third place come the end of the year. Hughes will face Peter Clare and Stephen Champion in the class, with Champion ending 2018 in eighth outright and full of confidence ahead of this season.

Finishing ahead of Champion in the outright standings last year was Jonathon Stoeckel, who also comfortably took top honours the Kuhmo Cup. With the cup now under Hankook, Stoeckel will be up against Gonzalez and his Wolf tornado in what is certainly going to be an interesting battle.

While Stoeckel finished well ahead of Gonzalez, the rookie only took part in the final round and held his own, setting up the entertaining battle this year. Also in the frame for the Hankook Cup will be Brenton Keough who ended the year in 13th.

Rounding out the class is series debutant Glen Stallbaum who will be only driver in the field behind the wheel of the West WX10.

The Australian Prototypes Series 2019 season will get underway at Sydney Motorsport on 17-19 May with races on both Saturday and Sunday.