As the Shannons Nationals hosts its final round for 2019, there will be a number of categories in which the title race is expected to go right down to the wire and the MRF Tyres Australian Production Car Series is one of them.
Sitting on top of the summit is Chris Lillis, who has enjoyed his year in the premier class after taking out the A2 class last year with trusty co-driver Nathan Callaghan.
Together, the two have gone beyond expectations in 2019 and are a chance to take out the title should they beat Iain and Grant Sherrin at The Bend Motorsport later this month.
“At the start of the year with a new car, our goal was to finish in the top three outright – realistically we thought third was about where we would be at, because of the pace of the BMWs,” Lillis explained.
“Now that we have a sniff of trying to win it, we really want it.
“To have built a brand new car at Christmas time last year and come out, and have only one round so far where we haven’t been on the outright podium, has been really amazing.”
Despite leading the series after four rounds, Lillis does believe that this round will be the hardest having had very little experience at Australia’s newest circuit.
“We will be fighting an uphill battle at Tailem Bend – while the flowing corners will suit our car, we are going to get hammered on the straight so we will have to rely on our strategy and our pit guys,” Lillis added.
“They have done a great job all year and we are really pleased with how things have gone so far.
“Although we are heading to The Bend knowing we have that disparity with the straight-line speed to deal with, we are by no means going there feeling that we can’t win. We will have a handle on the track and the car very quickly, and we will be going there for an outright win for sure.
“Nathan has been to the track and raced successfully there with the Saloon Car Nationals, and I have got a Simworx Simulator with The Bend on it so we have been practicing on that.
“With the tunability of our car with the Bilstein shock absorbers, we expect to get a handle on the track very quickly. Especially so as we will have one of the head engineers from Bilstein on-track to help us get on top of things as quickly as possible.”
Standing in the duo’s way of creating history are the Sherrins with only nine points separating the two entries, while Coleby Cowham and Lindsay Kearns sits a further 34 points behind after a solid haul of points last time around at Sandown.
The Australian Production Car Series will form part of the six category Shannons Nationals final round at The Bend Motorsport Park, and will have four one-hour races.
Tickets to the Shannons Nationals start from $20 per day and $30 for a weekend pass. Click here to purchase tickets to the season finale.
Fans unable to attend the round can catch the live stream on motorsportaustraliachampionships.com.au.
The Australian Production Car Series and the Shannons Nationals hold their final rounds at The Bend Motorsport Park on 15-17 November.