QUEENSLAND RACEWAY near Ipswich will host the biggest Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals round of the season to date this weekend. 

137 car and driver combinations have been entered across the eight national-level categories on the program with a bumper three-day program set for the 3.1km, six-turn layout this weekend. The most diverse race program in motorsports will be on show, with Sports Cars, Touring Cars, open-wheelers and production-based vehicles all on show.

Shannons323 races, 416 racing laps and more than 1200 competitive kilometres of racing feature on this weekend’s program, ranging from short sprints to longer-distance, endurance style events with pit stops and race strategy playing a role. 

Click here for full entry lists and the complete race program. 

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli and Kumho V8 Touring Cars Series are set to be amongst the headline acts with both offering remarkably competitive racing all season long.

In the midst of a season with record entries and tight competition, the GT3 Cup Challenge will sport a 24-car grid this weekend as they fight for the final round of the prestigious Jim Richards Endurance Trophy – a series of three longer-distance races amongst the regular Porsche schedule.

A reinvigorated Kumho V8 Touring Car series this year features a battle of the teenagers this year following 14-year-old Perth teenager Alex Rullo’s recent round win at Winton Raceway. Now 15, Rullo has generated national headlines with his success at Winton and is one of a number of new faces making waves in the Kumho series this year.

ShannonsFellow teenager Liam McAdam leads the standings, however, as he seeks to give Eggleston Motorsport back-to-back Kumho series title wins. Jim Pollicina and Steve Briffa sit second and third in the standings following the opening two rounds with plenty of racing still to come this year. 15 V8’s will battle a week after their ‘main game’ brethren races at the Ipswich venue.

Fans of the fastest tin-tops around will have something to cheer for, as a Shannons Nationals-season record 18-car field does battle in the Kerrick Sports Sedan Championship. One of the best fields of the year will see eight-time champion Tony Ricciardello face serious pressure on one of the most equal circuits for the outright cars of the season.

Young-gun Tom Randle will be keen to continue to take the fight up to the red Alfa GTV-Chev this weekend while V8 Supercar ace Jack Perkins will return for his second race behind the wheel of the Darren Hossack / John Gourlay Audi A4-Chev, as will six-time champion Kerry Baily.

Six-time champion Kerry Baily will also make a welcome return to the championship in his thundering Aston Martin. Holden Calibra driver Steven Tamasi is also likely to be a front-runner. Three of the Queensland design, built and developed MARC Cars Australia entries have been received following their introduction to local motorsport – outside of endurance racing – earlier this year.

Tony Alford, Michael Benton and a yet-to-be named third driver will steer the three MARC entries. Open-wheel fans will be well catered for thanks to great fields from the Australian Formula 3 Championship and the Australian Formula Ford Series.

12-cars, the best of the season, will race in Australia’s fastest racing cars amongst a grid that includes a return of the most experienced driver in Formula 3, local Chris Gilmour.

Now a full-time real estate guru, ‘Australia’s fastest agent’ will drive a brand-new F311-Volkswagen chassis on his first F3 start since the 2013 season.

He’ll face a tough ask to beat the dominant drivers in the championship, however – the compelling fight between Jon Collins, who drives for locally-based McDonald’s Gilmour Racing, and Victorian Ricky Capo continues.

Mackay driver Roland Legge will return for another round in R-Tek Motorsport’s new F311 Dallara. The ongoing Australian Formula Ford fight continues with 17 of the 18-car field all focussing on one thing: how to beat the dominant Cameron Hill.

The Canberra Mygale driver has swept the two most recent rounds of the Formula Ford Championship, scoring both poles, six race wins and two round wins in the most recent rounds. Sonic Motor Racing driver Christian Morina sits second in the championship and Jake Spencer third as the category enters its final two rounds of the year.

As usual the Formula Ford grid will include two classes with a familiar name joining the Kent Class this weekend: Bob Power – the father of IndyCar star and Aussie Formula Ford and F3 graduate Will – set to compete in the Kent-powered class.

The Dial Before You Dig Australian Super Six Touring Car Series will witness the continued charge of Gold Coaster Ben Grice, who swept the most recent round of the series in Sydney. Holden driver and defending champion Gavin Ross leads the standings heading into the Queensland round.

Sports car fans will have the competitive Australian Sports Racer Series field to look forward to with the field of West, Radical and RFR open-top LeMans style and open wheel cars set to put on a show.

The Australian Manufacturers Championship ‘fight in the night’ is an annual Queensland Raceway highlight – the first of two, 200km endurance races for the production car series to be held on Saturday night under lights.

Tickets are available at the gate for $20.00 on Saturday, $30.00 on Sunday or $40.00 for a two day pass.

Sunday’s racing will be streamed live via thenationals.com.au or the MotorsportsTV app for iPhone or Android this Sunday.

Check out www.thenationals.com.au for more information.

Ben Potter

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