Shannons mid-season report card: Aussie Racing Cars

With plenty to race for in the remaining months of 2021, take a look at how the seasons of our regular Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships categories are shaping up.

Battery World Aussie Racing Cars Super Series

After charging out of the gates with two huge rounds at Bathurst and Symmons Plains, the Battery World Aussie Racing Cars Super Series was only able to get one more round completed at Sydney with the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships since that epic Symmons Plains showdown.

Still, it has been lucky enough to knock over half its intended number of rounds and is likely to get at least one more round in 2021, as part of the Shannons event at The Bend in December.

Like many series in 2021, very little separates the drivers at the top of the standings and after these completed rounds; four drivers remain in the hunt as likely contenders for the title.

Rounds so far

Repco Supercars Championship – Mount Panorama 500
– Race one: Kody Garland
– Race two: Nick Simmons
– Race three: Nick Simmons

Race Tasmania– Symmons Plains
– Race one: Joshua Anderson
– Race two: Adam Gowans
– Race three: Reece Chapman
– Race four: Joshua Anderson

Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships – Sydney Motorsport Park
– Race one: Joshua Anderson
– Race two: Kody Garland

Rounds remaining
The Bend – 10-12 December

Photo: Speed Shots Photography

The Leader – Kody Garland

There aren’t many better ways to start a new season than by claiming a victory in the first race of the season – which is exactly what Kody Garland did in Bathurst all the way back in February.

Unfortunately, his worst finish of the season of 10th immediately followed that win and he undid some great work to end the first round in fifth place, thanks to a recovery drive in race three where he finished fourth.

Behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang, Garland didn’t have the best of weekends during the second round of the season, placing sixth, fourth and seventh before his best result of second in the final race.

Finally on his home track, the New South Welshman hit his stride and came fifth in race one before winning his second race of the year. Only two races were run at Sydney so he didn’t have the chance to extend the gap.

Garland may only lead his fellow two-time race winner Nick Simmons by half a point but his efforts deserve a lot of praise, considering it’s just his second season in the series.

Although a little inconsistent, there has been no driver to dominate the series thus far and Garland looks as comfortable as anyone sitting in top spot.

And what’s best about it all is that he’s enjoying every minute of it and relishing the title fight, which is likely to go down to the final race of the season.

“I’m loving the fight,” Garland said.

“It’s such a great category and the cars are fun to drive because they are unique, but also that battle for the lead is really close and it’s good to be part of.

“It’s fun to have such good close racing, especially at Eastern Creek when myself and Nick were really tight all weekend. It’s a good rivalry and there isn’t much between us.

Photo: Aussie Racing Cars

Top 10
Kody Garland – 121.5 points
Nick Simmons – 121
Craig Woods – 121
Joshua Anderson – 119.5
Joel Heinrich –110.5
Tom Hayman – 108.5
Craig Thompson –108.5
Adam Clarke – 103
Tony Quinn – 101
Kent Quinn – 100.5

Garland may enjoy being top dog for the minute, but he’s only one poor finish from dropping down to fourth.

Remarkably, only two points separates the top four drivers – three of which, including Garland and Simmons, have won races.

Joshua Anderson is another driver to have won multiple races, but like his fellow title rivals, has had a season of up and downs by his standards.

Out of the top four, Craig Woods is the only one to have not won a race but boasts a series-high seven out of nine podiums– a 21st in race two of Race Tasmania costing him what would have been a deserving series lead.

Photo: Speed Shots Photography

Rounding out the top five and needing all the luck in the world for another title is a former series champion Joel Heinrich. The 2018 champion has struggled since his maiden title and is locked in a battle against Tom Hayman and Craig Thompson to keep fifth– both of whom are sharing the spoils just two points of Heinrich.

Inconsistency has been the key theme of the season and whether the trying uncertain circumstances of 2021 has played a major role in that, there is no way of telling who will win the series should it get one more chance to hold a round.

Like the battle for the outright series lead and the battle for fifth, the drivers in the final top 10 spots are also on edge with the eighth placed Adam Clark enjoying a slight advantage over the ever-present Tony Quinn, Kent Quinn and Reece Chapman – again just two and half points off the four drivers.

Chapman would be ruing this season with some back of the field finishes proving costly, however he enjoyed some success, with the high of the season being that race victory at Symmons Plains.