Winton battle royale for APCS

The Jacuzzi Spas Australian Production Car Series returns to the Shannons Nationals for the third time this year as the series reaches its midway point for the 2018 season.

Headlining the 23-strong field is series leader Beric Lynton and co-driver Tim Leahey with the BMW M3 pilots going for Lynton’s third consecutive round victory.

Returning to the field with the aim of disrupting the leaders’ sensational run is 2017 runner-up in Bob Pearson, joined by Rick Bates, behind the wheel of their old Mitsubishi Evo 10.

The 71-year-old makes his first appearance since Sandown earlier in the year after revealing earlier in this month that he only races for the fun and not for the silverware.

“We don’t go for championships, so Winton will be just another race meeting for us,” Pearson said

“We only compete because we are addicted to racing and like to have fun.”

Pearson’s relaxed attitude for this weekend will not be shared by the other A1 class competitors, who will use the Winton round as an opportunity for serious points.

As the only Victorians in the A1 class, Kyle and Anthony Alford will be one of those drivers and will utilise their ‘home track ‘ to catch up with the championship’s top-two teams.

The pair will also have Simply Sports Cars teammates in Grant Denyer and Tony D’Alberto to worry about after the duo won the second race of the previous round.

Like Pearson, Dimitri Agathos and Lachlan Gibbons return to the series after missing out on points at Queensland Raceway.

Only scheduled to take part in the Ipswich round, Jake Camilleri has confirmed he will take part once again, this time splitting with co-driver Brad Woods as team MARC Cars attempt to score points with two BMWs entered.

Jim Pollicina and Ryan Simpson will be hoping to recreate their form from Queensland’s Fight in the Night after picking up second, while Jason Miller sits just above the two in the standings after retiring in the same race.

The young Thomas Muller and Shane Smollen enter the round with high hopes after showing good signs in the first two rounds of the season.

Sherrin Rentals will be entering two cars for the first time this year with the outright second placed Grant and Iain Sherrin driven BMW M4 leading the charge.

The pair are joined by teammates Michael Sherrin and Klae Eckhardt in a BMW 135i who will spend their first outing for the year in the three-car B1 class.

The second Fierce Racing car, also in a BMW 135i, driven by Aaron Reed and Scott Turner will take part in the B1 class, as well as MWM Racing’s Trevor and James Keene in Volkswagen Golf R Gti.

MWM’s second entry will be alone in the D class with Matt Thewlis yet to confirm his partner, while Wayne and KatilynHawkins will have the B2 class all to themselves.

Chris Lillis and Nathan Callaghan will also be the sole competitors in the A2 class.

The C class will see both Osborne Motorsport’s Renault Megane RS265 Trophy Rs driven by Calum Jones and Colin Osborne attempt to knock Kyle and Blake Aubin off the top of the class standings.

Another entertaining three-way battle is expected to occur in Class E with James Brock and Elliot Barbour in their MG6 hoping to continue their stellar form in 2018.

The MG Motorsport will be fighting off the class’ other title contenders in the Mark Griffith driven Toyota Echo and the Nissan Pulsar piloted by Cem Yucel and Harley Haber.

The Australian Production Cars kick off with a practice session and two qualifying sessions on Saturday morning, before a a two-hour race wrap up proceedings on both days of the Nationals.

The Shannons Nationals at Winton Motor Raceway will take place on 1-2 September with live coverage of Sunday’s sessions available live and free at speedseries.com.au.