Q&A: Circuit Excel Nationals

Shannons Nationals caught up with Andrew Young, the organiser behind the growing Circuit Excel Nationals.

Before we get on track, who are some of the key competitors vying for the title? 

From South Australia, current State Champion Asher Johnston will be keen to improve on his third place the 2016 Nationals.

Also from SA and one to watch is Shaun Pannowitch, who was the inaugural Circuit Excel state Champion in SA and is always a front-runner.

Great competition from Queensland will be in the form of Cam Wilson, who will be defending his crown from the inaugural 2016 Nationals.

He will closely followed by Cam Barthomlew who has second in the 2016 Nationals and is the 2016 Excel state champion. Also, do not underestimate Brock Giblin.

From Victoria, 15-year-old young gun Jaylyn Robotham is one to watch. Robotham is the current series leader in South Australia and is at the front end of the Victorian series. His teammate in Ash Wright will also be at the pointy-end of the front pack.

Current series leader Adam Bryant will be the big hope for New South Wales, which is Bryant’s home circuit.

What does it mean for the Excel Nationals to race on the Shannons Nationals program? 

This will be the second time Circuit Excel has been involved with Shannons Nationals, following the Queensland state round at Ipswich. For the Nationals it gives a greater awareness of the event and a legitimacy of the Circuit Excel Nationals in the future. It also shows that we are amongst the recognised categories under the CAMS banner.

Why have the Circuit Excels grown so fast, on not only the grassroots scene, but Australia wide? 

Four words: Entry level, affordable racing.

A do-it-yourself setup, a car can be put together for around $5,000. Otherwise the car with the help of others costs around $10,000. Even compared to karts this still a cheaper way to go racing.

For what they are the cars are generally pretty reliable and are easy to fix when something does go wrong. You can buy and entire running street-car for around $500, which gives you the start of a race car or a set of full spares.

There’s also great atmosphere amongst the competitors and everyone’s really friendly. You see competitors on race days helping out each other to keep everyone on the track.

When and where did Excel racing begin?

It had its origins in both Queensland and South Australia. Both states were the first to run races under CAMS events, kicking off around 2012. We now have around 250 Circuit Excel cars log booked and growing.

Who was last year’s National Excel winner?

Cam Wilson and he will be sporting the number 1 on his car for the 2017 Nationals.

What can we look out for over the weekend?

This year we will have actually have a Grandfather and Grandson team competing from the Bargwana family.

Harry and Ben Bargwana will be racing and I am sure Jason will be keeping a close eye on both… it’s great to have three generations involved.