The Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships may not be running this weekend, but with an expected return to Sydney Motorsport Park motorsportaustrlaiachampionships.com.au takes a look back at the five national categories from last year’s corresponding round.
carsales TCR Australia
It was always going to be a historic event as motorsport fans got their first taste of the brand new carsales TCR Australia series.
With 17 drivers from all backgrounds forming part of the field, there was a lot of interest surrounding the inaugural round and it was Virgin Australia Supercars Championship co-driver Toby D’Alberto who took out the series’ first ever pole position.
It didn’t take long for a new name to be added to that history though as Jason Bright took the win in race one behind the wheel of his Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Throughout the year, the category would have one race on Saturdays and two on Sundays and in Sydney it was young gun Will Brown who gave us a sign of things to come with two strong wins on the Sunday.
Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge
Like Brown, the results at Sydney Motorsport Park set up the rest of the season as the one-make category’s round winner Harri Jones eventually took out the title six months later.
Despite only winning the final race, it was Jones’ consistency that saw him rewarded for his efforts as race one winner Max Vidau and race two winner Ryan Suhle both suffered a DNF during the weekend.
Taking out second spot was eventual runner-up Aaron Love courtesy of two runner-up finishes, while Class C graduate Christian Pancione rounded out the podium in his Pro Class debut.
The Australian Prototype Series
With reigning champion Jason Makris yet to commit to the category’s full season, the door was opened for a new challenger to claim the title and it was Mark Short who answered the call in the opening round.
However it was no easy feat for the round winner despite winning the second race, as eventual series winner David Barram, 2017 series winner Mark Laucke and rookie Daniel Gonzalez all finished within six points of Short.
Earlier in the weekend, Barram looked on course to take out the round win after securing pole position and the first race win over Makris and Short, but he was unable to capitalise in the second race, crossing the line in ninth.
Like Barram, Makris had a second race to forget with the race one runner-up one of eight drivers failing to finish, allowing Laucke to pinch second and Gonzalez third – the duo adding to their solid top five results from race one.
Australian Formula 4 Championship
The second round of the Championship saw Luis Leeds pick up where he left off at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix two months earlier and take out the round win.
A win either side of a third place saw Leeds comfortably win the round over Antonio Astuti, who won the second race of the weekend – his first in the championship.
The battle for the third step on the podium came down to three drivers and it was Lochie Hughes who ultimately edged out Ryan Suhle and Jackson Walls for third.
The Radical Australia Cup
It was a topsy-turvy weekend in the Radicals as no driver was able to secure consecutive podium finishes during the two endurance races.
Eventual series champion Chris Perini won the round after the New South Welshman deservedly won the first race over Kostinken Pohorukov and Stephen Champion.
None of those drivers were able to back up their performances in race two with Perini dropping to seventh, Champion to ninth and Pohorukov not even finishing the race. Sharing a car, Phil Anseline and Oliver Smith made amends for their last place in race one with a race win over Peter Paddon and Mitch Neilson.
Also sharing a car with Brad Neilson, Mitch finished the weekend in third place behind Max Medland – the only driver to place in the top five in both races thanks to his two fourth places.