07 Feb EARLY BIRDS TO GET THE WORM AT SANDOWN
With the Australian Production Cars season starting much earlier than usual in 2024 at this weekend’s Race Sandown event (February 9-11), a modest yet mighty group of APC racers are poised to take the early advantage for this year’s five-round season.
“Racing so early in the year certainly poses a number of challenges for our APC community, with a number of our competitors still completing rebuilds and refreshes of their race cars, which has also been impacted by the global shipping issues affecting everyone at the moment,” said Troy Williams, the General Manager of APC category manager, Production Car Racing Ltd.
“It has always been a challenge for our racers to be on-track this early in the year, and this year is no different – if anything, it is harder at the moment given the shipping issues.
“While this is very unfortunate for those regulars, and we hope to see them back on-track with us for round two, it does leave our Sandown racers in a prime position to get an early points advantage for their APC season, and we expect to see some exciting racing both outright and across the classes this weekend.”
Williams is expecting a return to larger fields at upcoming events.
“Across the board last year, Australian Production Cars consistently fielded the largest grids of the Shannons Speed Series events, even when you factor out the GT4 racers that shared the grid with us, and we expect that to still be the case in 2024 once we get past this earlier than usual start and we have our regulars coming back online,” Williams said.
“In the meantime, the APC field for Sandown may be modest, but it sure is mighty, and we can’t wait to see what our racers have in store for us this weekend,” he added.
Eleven APC racers will line-up for the four 30-minute races this weekend, three of which will be streamed live and free on 7+ (races two, three and four), with race three to also be broadcast on free-to-air television on 7mate.
In Class X, defending outright and class X champion Iain Sherrin is eager to get his title defence off to the best possible start in the #72 Sherrin Rentals BMW, while last year’s X class runner-up (and third outright) Grant Sherrin will be looking to launch his fight to claim the title for himself in the #27 Sherrin Rentals BMW M4 in its second year of competition.
The Sherrin brothers will have to contend with class debutants Dean Campbell and Cameron Crick, who will be unveiling their brand-new #118 DA Campell Transport BMW M2 build after coming so close to taking out the A1 title last year before losing their Mitsubishi Evo and their grip on 1st place due to a heavy crash at the Bathurst International finale.
Joining these three in Class X and sure to factor in the outright battle will be production car regular Simon Hodges and up and coming Super2 star Jayden Ojeda. The production car regular and four-time Bathurst 1000 co-driver will team up in the #31 Secure Wealth Advisors BMW M4.
In Class A1 and also likely to be a part of the battle at the pointiest end will be Chris Sutton in the 321 Motorsport Mitsubishi Evo X and Paul Buccini – who was third in the A1 title last year – in the #71 Team Buccini Racing BMW M140i.
Chris Lillis and Nathan Callaghan will be bringing their new #65 Cachet Homes Chevrolet Camaro dubbed ‘Ellie May’ to the event after debuting the car in APC at the Bathurst International. The pair will be joined in fighting for the A2 honours by Matthew Holt in the #65 Cavanagh Electrics HSV Clubsport, who will be hoping for a much better outing at Sandown than his last trip to the venue with the APC, which saw him suffer a heavy impact under the Sandown Bridge.
In Class B2, Ben Gersekowski will return in the #38 KCK Lubricants/Vic’s Timber BMW M3, with the former international racer one to watch. Allan Jarvis and his Meguiar’s Best Presented Award winning #70 TOA57D Motorsport VW Polo GTi will be back in Class C, in which he was third in the title last year, while David Bailey will make his return to the championship for the first time in many years, teaming up with his regular co-driver and 2018 D class champion Matt Thewlis – with who he has taken class podiums in the Bathurst 6 Hour previously – in the D Class #39 Tongarra Rd Preschool and Early Learning Centre Mini Cooper S R56.
In 2024 the APC is enjoying a five-round calendar, commencing at Sandown Raceway across February 9-11 (four 30-minute races), before heading to The Bend for four 1 hour races across May 31 – June 2. Round three will be held at Queensland Raceway (July 12-14, two 2 hour races), before the penultimate round of the APC calendar for 2024 will then be held at Sydney Motorsport Park (October 18-20, four 1 hour races). The Bathurst International will then provide a thrilling finale across November 8-10, with four 30-minute races to close out the year.
For further information on Australian Production Cars, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ausprodcars.com.au.
2024 AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTION CARS CHAMPIONSHIP DATES:
- Round 1 – Sandown Raceway – February 9-11, 2024 – Four 30-minute races
- Round 2 – The Bend – May 31-June 2 – Four 1 hour races
- Round 3 – Queensland Raceway – July 12-14 – Two 2 hour races
- Round 4 – Sydney Motorsport Park – 18-20 October – Four 1 hour races
- Round 5 – Bathurst International – 8-10 November – Four 30-minute races