Sydney stage set for Aussie Racing showdown

Aussie Racing Cars will join the Shannons Nationals for the first time for more than a decade when a healthy 22-car field hit the track at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The Nationals host the series’ fifth round of the 2018 season, after previous rounds at some of Australia’s most iconic tracks including Phillip Island and Baskerville.

Headlining the national category is series leader Kyle Ensbey, who will be looking to get back into the winner’s circle after not claiming a round win since the series’ visit to Winton in May.

Sitting outright second, Joel Heinrich will be hoping to secure back-to-back round wins after a brilliant performance at The Bend Motorsport Park saw him win his first round for the year.

Kel Treseder and Blake Sciberras return to Sydney Motorsport Park with confidence after both finished last year’s race at the New South Wales track on the podium, while Justin Ruggier sits between the two following his round win in Ipswich.

Teammates Ruggler and Sciberras lead the Western Sydney Motorsport (WSM) charge with Grant and Craig Thompson returning to Sydney Motorsport Park, while WSM’s female representative in Charlotte Poynting will continue her battle with Madison Dunston in the Ladies’ cup.

Brenton Tucker will be hoping to replicate his seventh place from last year to help him move up the standings, while Leigh Bowler will need a better performance this weekend as opposed to his 11th last year if he is to close in on seventh placed Reece Chapman.

It will be an interesting battle between Tucker, Bowler and Chapman, who finished eighth last year, with the three occupying seventh to ninth in the 2018 standings respectively.

The final driver with experience at Sydney Motorsport Park is 11th placed Jeff Watters. Like Bowler, the Nissan Altima pilot will use this round to make amends after a disastrous 22nd last year.

Following five top-ten finishes, including two podiums, Joshua Anderson is likely to get a strong result in his home event, while fellow RDA Brakes sponsored driver Adam Clark will be full of confidence following his competitive seventh at The Bend.

Clark’s fellow Queenslander in Jonathan Bloxsom will also be confident in moving up the standings after finishing above his closest rival Watters during the previous two rounds.

Victorian David Makin will continue his battle with Bloxsom, despite not being able to finish above him in the season so far.

Returning to the series after not taking part in two rounds, just five points separate Emma Clark and Ian Chivas on the standings, while Troy Jones and Pawel Faber enter the series for just the second time this year.

A qualifying session on Saturday morning sets up two eight-lap races on Saturday afternoon before the series finish the weekend with another two eight-lap races on Sunday.

The Shannons Nationals at Sydney Motorsport Park will take place on 21-23 September with live coverage of Sunday’s sessions available live and free at motorsportaustraliachampionships.com.au.