An exciting finish to the Australian Prototype Series presented by Hot Wheels season is expected this weekend, with three contenders to battle it out for the 2018 title.
Only 14 points separate the top three drivers following a regulated points adjustment, which saw the worst two results for each driver removed from the stats.
It’s been an incredibly diverse season this year, with four different drivers claiming the top step of the podium in at least one round of the Shannons Nationals.
Radical class champion Peter Paddon took out the opening round at The Bend Motorsport Park in April, before current series leader Jason Makris grabbed his opening round win at Sandown.
David Barrum managed to defy the odds and secure a round victory at Queensland Raceway, while defending champion Mark Laucke saved his season with the most recent round victory at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Makris is currently in the box seat to secure the victory ahead of both Laucke and the ever-consistent JP Drake, who sits in third outright following three podium finishes – the most of any driver in the field.
With the competition being so close, all three drivers must drive and finish well … any race they fail to finish or score poor points will end their title hopes.
Jason Makris – 307 points
The points adjustment has not favoured Makris, with the Queenslander losing his healthy lead of 65 points, although he’ll still be confident considering he has held top spot since Sandown.
A top-three round finish should seal the title for Makris, making him responsible for his own destiny. Finishing any lower will make him rely on other drivers.
Providing Laucke doesn’t finish in the top two and Makris secures three race podiums, the title should be his. He can drop to as low as third should he have a nightmare and fail to score valuable points.
Mark Laucke – 296 points
The defending champion had a disappointing start to the year, but a mid-season recovery as well as his round win has put him right in the mix.
With neither Makris or Drake scoring any points at last year’s visit to the Island, Laucke will be confident of a strong finish and his attempts to be the first driver win two rounds in a row. The South Australian will have to take out at least two races and win the round.
Unlike Makris, only one position will be the difference between finishing second or third. A poor result could see him drop behind Drake.
John-Paul Drake – 293 points
Now is the time for Drake to win his first round for the year and with the way the season has gone so far, anything is possible.
While a round win would be very handy for Drake, the fate of his season lies in the hands of the two drivers above him … however he’ll still give himself every chance to steal the title.
Winning the round is the first item on Drake’s list, while Makris having his worst round of the season and finishing poorly is the second part.
Drake will more than likely finish the series in third, however he could drop to fourth providing he scores no points and if Phillip Hughes qualifies in first, before winning every race for the round.
The Australian Prototype Series presented by Hot Wheels will hold their final three races of 2018 at Phillip Island on 3 November.