The inaugural season of the Australian Prototype Series will go down to the wire, as the season draws to a close at Phillip Island this weekend.
After four compelling rounds, six drivers remain in mathematical contention ahead of the three races at the high-speed 4.46km circuit, with at least one driver from each different class in the series – Sports Racer, Radical and FL1 open-wheeler.
Mark Laucke leads the standings after becoming the first repeat round winner of the season when he won last time out in Queensland.
The South Australian has powered his West WX10 to five race victories this season, with seven top three finishes from 12 races contested so far have been more important for his series challenge.
Laucke’s 358 points sees him 48 points clear of Terry Peovitis, who can take the ‘Mr Consistency’ tag this year.
The FL1 class leader is yet to win a race this year and has only twice finished inside the top three, however his consistent racking up of points finishes has been key to his challenge this year.
The West Australian driver sits just two points in front of the best of the Radical SR3 brigade, Chris Sutton.
The APS points score that allows drivers to drop their two worst race scores has aided Sutton, as has his consistency throughout the season to date.
Having led the series across the first three rounds, misfortune struck Philip Hughes last time out at Queensland when an engine failure saw him fail to score and drop down the standings.
However, his 278 points tally keeps him well in contention heading to Phillip Island – especially if this season’s unpredictable results continue.
Jason Makris and John-Paul Drake sit fifth and sixth in the title chase respectively, though only one will have a chance to contend for the title this weekend.
With Makris set to miss the round due to commitments overseas, Drake will look to take advantage of his fellow West racer’s absence to climb the leaderboard, though his 266 points leaves him some way off the lead, however remains a mathematical chance to take the title.
Looking to mix it up amongst the title contenders will be a number of new and returning drivers set to make their mark on the season finale, including a unique father-and-son combination David Crampton to be joined by son Jack in a second Radical SR3 from the team.
Victorians Scott Mackay (West), Simon Meade (Radical) and Philip Tan (Radical) will also join he grid, while Jonathon Stoeckel (West) and Gerrit Ruff (West) return.
Three races will be contested this weekend to conclude a highly competitive debut season for the Australian Prototype Series.
Four different drivers have won the 12 races this year, while 14 of them have finished inside the top three at some point in a race this year.
Three drivers have scored poles and round victories (Laucke the only repeat scorer in both) while nine drivers have finished on the podium at some point this season.
The conditions at Phillip Island are expected to be damp at some point across the three days this weekend, favouring the heavier Radicals rather than the lightweight, nimble Sports Racers that are at their best in the dry.
Round 5 entries
|3||Radical||Vantage Fright Services/Prolap Motoports||David Crampton||NSW||Radical SR3 RSX||1500||Blue/Orange|
|4||FL1||Orlando Phoenix||Terry Peovitis||WA||RFR F1000||998||Red/Whi/Grey|
|11||Kumho Cup||Lark Construction||Scott Mackay||VIC||West WR 1000||998||Black|
|16||Radical||Strategy One HR||Simon Meade||VIC||Radical SR3||1500||Blue|
|24||Radical||Bayside Dental Specialists||Philip Tan||VIC||Radical SR3||1500||Black|
|35||Radical||321 Motorsport||Chris Sutton||NSW||Radical SR3||1500||Blue|
|42||Radical||Hughes Supercar Services||Philip Hughes||VIC||Radical SR3||1500||Red|
|53||Kumho Cup||Bryan Stoeckel||Jonathon Stoeckel||VIC||West WR1000||998||Red|
|55||P1||Laucke Flour Mills||Mark Laucke||SA||West WX10||998||Black|
|66||Kumho Cup||Jam Motorsport||Aaron Steer||SA||West WX10||998||Multi|
|88||Kumho Cup||CRC Industries Australia||Gerrit Ruff||SA||West WR 1000||998||Blue|
|333||Radical||Vantage Fright Services/Prolap Motoports||Jack Crampton||NSW||Radical SR3||1500||Blue/Orange|