Big showdown expected for Shannons on the Island

The Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships will deliver three huge days of motorsport to take place at the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

Seven categories and plenty of entertainment will be on show at the circuit from Friday through to Sunday with a street party in Cowes to kick off the festivities on Thursday night, which will be headlined by the Hot Wheels Stunt Team.

While the stunt team is sure to light up the town on both Thursday night and throughout the weekend with performances at the circuit, the racing action will be just as exciting.

Almost 140 competitors across the seven categories are entered for the season opening event with many of the categories to continue their 2022 campaigns, while some begin their seasons at the Island.

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Click here to view the full entry lists.  

Boasting the biggest entry for the weekend is the Turtle Wax National Trans Am Series where 30 cars across three classes will share the grid and do battle – the standout stars being reigning champion Nathan Herne, current series leader Tim Brook, Kyle Gurton, Owen Kelly and Brett Holdsworth.

The next biggest field of the event belongs to the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series where 25 drivers will contest three races over the weekend.

Photos: Speed Shots Photography

Headlining the entry list are Supercars stars and the only two current champions of the category – Chaz Mostert and Will Brown.

The former won’t just be defending his title this weekend after receiving the late call up to compete in the two one-hour Motorsport Australia GT Championship (Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS) races.

Teaming up alongside GT gun Liam Talbot, Mostert was looking forward to running in the Audi to help Talbot out for the category’s season opening round.

“I didn’t plan on doing anything other than Supercars this year, but I’m definitely happy to help Liam out at Phillip Island,” Mostert said.

“Like any race car driver, we are there to compete and we want to be on the top step. I have some experience with the Audi from last year, but Liam is a very capable driver and we’ll be hoping to put his car as far up the order as we can.

“The competition in GT is very stiff. There are lots of good cars, teams and drivers there. It should be a great weekend.”

Mostert won’t be the only Supercars driver competing in the category, with Shane van Gisbergen to return alongside regular co-driver Prince Jefri and David Reynolds to join Tony Bates, while international ace Christopher Mies will team up with reigning champion Yasser Shahin.

Sticking with the tin top cars, the National Sports Sedan Series will also get its season underway this weekend with a healthy field of 18 cars.

After two years of being unable to string a season together, this year looks hopeful for the category, who is led by 2019 champion and title favourite Steven Tamasi.

Another category to begin its five-round 2022 campaign at Phillip Island is the Radical Cup Australia, which also begins a new chapter in its 21-year journey with an exciting prize of a fully funded drive in the UK for the outright champion.

Many of the series’ regular stars are returning for the opening round, including Peter Paddon and Chris Perini, with two 25-minute sprint races and a 50-minute endurance race to make up the busy weekend.

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Enjoying a similar number of competitors for its second round of the year will be the Australian Formula Ford Series, which has three 20-minute races.

The category recently enjoyed an entertaining opening round of the year as part of the Motorsport Australia Victorian State Circuit Championships at Sandown and with many of the same competitors entered, fans are likely to see more thrilling battles transpire.

From the junior category of Formula Fords to the roaring power of another more senior open wheel category, the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship.

The S5000 field features a good mix of experienced pilots like reigning champion Joey Mawson, Tim Macrow and James Golding to championship debutants like Shae Davis and Zane Goddard – the latter securing the drive with powerhouse outfit Team BRM after two seasons in Supercars.

“It’s great to be back with the team and I’m really looking forward to racing in S5000,” Goddard said.

“I really enjoyed driving the car and getting up to speed with it at the test – It’s exciting to drive and you can see why so many people enjoy them.”

All three days’ track action will begin from 9.05am local time (AEDT) and will conclude around 4:40pm with anyone wishing to attend the event unable to purchase tickets at the gate. All tickets must be purchased via Eventbrite prior to entry. Tickets remain on sale online throughout the event’s duration.

Click here to purchase tickets. 

Those unable to go to the event can watch Saturday and Sunday’s action live via Stan Sport from 11:40am AEST, with midweek highlights on 9Gem.

The Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships Phillip Island event takes place on 18-20 March, with the free Cowes Street Party taking place from 5pm on Thursday, 17 March.