Shannons launches into spring at Winton

The Shannons Nationals returns to Winton Motor Raceway this weekend, with three categories to provide plenty of red hot racing over two days.

While it may be winter on Saturday, spring will be officially welcomed at Winton on Sunday, with perfect racing weather forecast on both days – no rain and plenty of sun.

In action at Winton will be the carsales TCR Australia Series, Australian Prototype Series and the Porsche 944 Challenge.

Check out the full schedule here.

Friday will act as a private practice day for teams, before qualifying and racing gets underway on Saturday.

Photo: Daniel Kalisz

carsales TCR Australia Series

Even more drivers will get their first taste of this popular category, with Dunlop Super2 Series leader and Supercars Pirtek Endurance Cup co-driver Bryce Fullwood joining the Kelly Racing TCR Team at Winton.

Fullwood will drive the team’s second Subaru WRX STi, previously piloted by Andre Heimgartner – Heimgartner himself will remain in the team’s Holden Astra.

Meanwhile, Liam McAdam has secured a deal to drive a Melbourne Performance Centre Audi RS 3 LMS in the final three rounds, starting at Winton.

After testing for the team at The Bend earlier this month, the 22-year-old Brisbane resident will drive the Audi that Garth Tander, Jean-Karl Vernay and Aaron Seton drove in recent rounds.

TCR has confirmed a slight tweak to its practice format at this event, with one longer practice session on Saturday morning, before the usual qualifying and opening race on Saturday – and the familiar back-to-back races on Sunday afternoon.

All races are live on SBS and SBS HD.

The full carsales TCR Australia Series entry list can be found in this round’s Racing Magazine.

Photo: Nathan Wong

Australian Prototype Series

It will be a busy weekend for the Prototypes pilots, with four races across two days.

As previously reported, reigning Series winner Jason Makris has hung up the helmet for 2019 with the impending birth of his child, meaning John-Paul Drake will fill the vacant seat of the speedy Wolf Tornado – making him a serious contender this weekend.

With Makris now out of contention, the battle between Daniel Gonzalez and David Barram will continue at Winton. While Makris leads the Series on 243 points, Barram is the effective leader on 239 points, just 10 points ahead of Gonzalez.

In a cheeky tribute to Father’s Day, Race 3 will not be run for points, instead competitors will be fighting for ‘Father’s Day/Abandoned Wives’ race trophy – which includes some extra special prizes on offer. The winner of the round’s third race will receive a $150 Endota Spa voucher, second place a $100 Endota Spa voucher and third a bottle of French champagne. All competitors will also receive their own Haighs chocolates in honour of the special day which they can gift to their wives or fathers or even themselves.

The full Australian Prototypes entry list can be found in this round’s Racing Magazine.

Photo: Nathan Wong

Porsche 944 Challenge

This invitational category makes its return to the Shannons Nationals card after appearing at the respective round in 2018.

The category is now officially part of the Porsche pathway, with the winner of the category in 2019 given the opportunity to sample a current spec Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car at a special test day.

This weekend’s racing offers plenty of opportunity for those in the category eager to impress on the Shannons Nationals stage.

The field, made up entirely of Victorian drivers, will showcase the best of the iconic Porsche 944 and promises plenty of close racing in the one-make category.

The full Porsche 944 Challenge entry list can be found in this round’s Racing Magazine.

Image: Nathan Wong

How to watch this round of the Shannons Nationals:

The Shannons Nationals live stream will run on both Saturday and Sunday and can be viewed at speedseries.com.au.

All carsales TCR Australia Series races can be watched on SBS and SBS HD, with coverage starting at 2pm (AEST) on Saturday and 1pm (AEST) on Sunday.

As previously confirmed, there will be no demonstration laps for the S5000 at Winton, due to the timing conflict with its recent Phillip Island test day this week.

Those planning on making the trek to Winton can purchase their tickets at the gate.

Winton Motor Raceway is located just over two hours drive from Melbourne’s CBD, and can be found just off the Hume Freeway near Benalla.