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Last time at Queensland Raceway

With the Shannons SpeedSeries’ next round fast approaching, all eyes will be on Queensland Raceway this month, as the national series heads north for the first time in 2023.

Six exciting categories are scheduled to take to the track on the second weekend of August for three days of jam-packed racing. But before we delve into the action, take a second to wind the clock back to this time last year.

Seven national categories made the trip up north to a newly revamped Queensland Raceway in 2022 for the grand return of the Shannons SpeedSeries at the popular Ipswich circuit.

Much like 2023, last year’s category bill included the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, National Trans Am Series, Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS, Mobil 1 Australian Production Car Series and Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia.

The fan-favourite Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series put on a great show all weekend long, with eventual 2022 champion Tony D’Alberto extending his lead at the top of the standings after picking up his first pair of wins for the season.

On a circuit where his Honda Civic thrived, D’Alberto finished ahead of Zac Soutar to take victory in both races one and three respectively, setting himself up for a serious push for the title in the later stages of the season.

Winning the final race was Jay Hansen – leading an Audi one-two with Will Brown coming home in second ahead of an impressive Luke King.

2022 SPEED SERIES.
QUEENSLAND RACEWAY.
WORLD COPYRIGHT: DANIEL KALISZ PHOTOGRAPHER

It was another eventual champion finding success in the National Trans Am Series, with Nathan Herne completing an impressive clean sweep across the categories three races.

Herne avoided all the chaos between title rivals Owen Kelly and Tim Brook at the start of race one to take victory in a faultless performance, with Jett Johnson and Brodie Kostecki also taking advantage of incidents ahead to fill the remaining podium places.

Both drivers would find themselves in second place during races two and three respectively, while Kelly made up for a disappointing opening race by finishing in third on both occasions.

The season-defining weekend for Herne would then lead to him sealing the 2022 title the following round at Sandown International Raceway.

The spoils were shared in the two one-hour Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS races, with Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Shane van Gisbergen and Prince Jefri Ibrahim and the pairing of Yasser Shahin and Garth Tander taking respective victories.

van Gisbergen and Ibrahim won the opening race in style after an impressive opening stint from the latter left the van Gisbergen with little work to do, finishing a convincing 12 seconds ahead of Shahin and Tander.

The Bend Motorsport Park / Valvoline entry would then get their revenge in race two, guiding their Audi LMS Evo to a nine second win ahead of Liam Talbot and Fraser Ross – who enjoyed a brilliant battle for second place with the race one winners.

Another chapter was written in an intriguing rivalry between Thomas Sargent and Ryan Wood in the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge.

In the opening race, Sargent bested his title rival after taking the early lead over the polesitter and was never headed to the checkered flag, before repeating his efforts in a shortened race two after the duo once again broke away from the chasing pack.

Sargent would then go on to make it three wins from three in the Jim Richards Endurance Race, taking round honours ahead of Wood, while current title contender Aron Shields rounded out the top three with two impressive podium finishes across the weekend.

In the Mobil 1 Australian Production Car Series, there were familiar names atop of the timesheets during the annual ‘Fight in the Night’ race on Saturday night – Beric Lynton and Tim Leahey.

The duo crossed the line with a dominate 37-second lead over previous winners Iain and Grant Sherrin. Rounding out the top three was the solo entrant of Ben Gersekowski, who made it a BMW podium lockout.

Earlier on in the weekend, the Go-Karts-Go entry of Aaren Russell claimed the opening race ahead of Leahey and Sherrin, while Drew Russell returned the team to the top of the podium after taking out race three ahead of Lynton and Adam Burgess.

Other cateogries to feature there included the Australian Prototype Series and Workhorse Radical Cup Australia – both of which had entertaining weekends.

In the Prototypes, John Paul Drake and Ricky Capo had alternating race wins throughout the weekend – but it was the former who would get the upper hand early on.

Drake won both the opening and second race over Capo with the first being by just two tenths of a second, while it was two seconds in the next race.

The third race was another thrilling encounter, after two previous attempts it was Capo this time finishing ahead of Drake after the race one and two winner made contact with Jason Makris in the dying stages.

As for the Radicals, less than one second separated the top three in race one, with Peter Paddon securing the victory ahead of Chris Perini, while Brad Neilson finished in third.

After falling short in race one, Perini got his revenge on Paddon in the second race taking the lead in the final stint ahead of Adam Lisle, with Paddon having to settle for third.

The fifth round of the Shannons SpeedSeries will take place at Queensland Raceway on 11-13 August.