CHAMPIONS TO DO BATTLE IN GOLD COAST SHOWDOWN
A CROSS-SECTION of Australian V8 Touring Car racing from young stars on the rise to classic cars from the sports history will be represented in this weekends Kumho Tyre Australian V8 Touring Car Series event at the Vodafone Gold Coast 600.
Invited to join the program on short notice the category has responded with a 14-strong field that includes a diverse mixture of cars and drivers from across the racing spectrum.
Though not for championship points the field will tackle three races this weekend that should be staged in the same competitive manner as the championship proper this year.
The field includes the last two champions of the series both young stars of the sport – to a 1998 Ford EL Falcon that returns to the event having been first driven on the streets of Surfers Paradise 20 years ago.
Headlining the grid will be 2018 Kumho Series champion Tyler Everingham and his predecessor 2017 champion Jack Smith.
Everingham a 17-year-old Electrical Apprentice from country New South Wales sensationally clinched the title in a final round showdown at The Bend Motorsport Park near Adelaide in August.
The open-wheel racing graduate will reunite with the title-winning MW Motorsport team racing a Ford FG Falcon once steered to a Bathurst pole in the hands of Mark Winterbottom.
Everinghams chief rival is expected to be the man he succeeded as Kumho Series champion Brad Jones Racing young-gun Jack Smith.
The Holden driver won the opening two rounds of this years Kumho Series before focussing his attention on the Dunlop Super2 Championship where he currently sits 12th in the standings with a round to go.
Smith dominated the 2017 championship and returns to the series this weekend driving the same SCT Logistics Holden Commodore in which he won the title last year.
Joining the former champions in the outright class will be three additional Falcon-driving contenders.
Independent runner Jon McCorkindale starred this year especially having upgraded late in the year to an ex-Dick Johnson Racing FG Falcon.
The Dial Before You Dig driver finished third in the championship finishing on the podium in four of the five rounds and grabbing a race win along the way.
Bathurst-based driver Michael Anderson (ex-FPR FG Falcon) and Aussie Driver Search boss Kyle Austin who makes his Kumho series debut this weekend will also feature in the outright class.
The Kumho Cup for privateer runners features a strong field of contenders driving cars with plenty of unique history.
Having upgraded from an older VS Holden Commodore Brad Neill impressed this season having purchased an ex-Shane van Gisbergen Stone Brothers Racing FG Falcon for his Kumho Series campaign.
The car was campaigned on the Gold Coast by Tim Slade and international co-driver Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves in 2010 and 2011.
Meanwhile fast Queenslander Shane Hunt returns in his ex-Triple Eight Race Engineering BA Falcon this weekend.
The car was built in 2004 and driven by Paul Radisich and Steve Ellery Hunt having restored the car to its spectacular original livery for his racing return this weekend.
Chris Smerdon (Ex-Stone Brothers Falcon raced by Alex Davison and Marc Lieb on the Gold Coast) and Brendan Strong (Kelly Racing Holden Commodore raced by Rick Kelly and IndyCar star Graham Rahal) bring cars with notable Gold Coast 600 event history while Stephen Coe Jack Sipp and Gary Collins also rejoin the series.
Finally the Heritage class features two cars that showcase the history of Supercars competition on the Surfers Streets.
Andy Cantrells Glenn Seton Racing EL Falcon was raced in the non-championship Gold Coast event in 1999 by Neil Crompton in Ford Tickford Racing colours. The car would later go on to win the inaugural Konica series (now Super 2) in the hands of current Tickford Racing driver Dean Canto.
Sean Fardell will race his ex-Perkins Engineering Commodore that was driven by both Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall in Castrol colours during its time as a main-game car.
Fardells car would also enjoy success in the second-tier Supercars series two-time Gold Coast 600 race winner Paul Dumbrell winning the 2002 championship behind the wheel of this car.
The Kumho Tyre Australian V8 Touring Car Series will tackle three races across the Vodafone Gold Coast 600 weekend with points accumulated across all three determining the round winner.
All three races plus qualifying and practice will be shown live on FOX Sports 506.
ENTRY LIST – VODAFONE GOLD COAST 600
|4||Kumho Cup||Edge Consulting Engineers||Shane Hunt||QLD||Ford Falcon||BF|
|8||Heritage||Mr HDT Race Cars & Engines||Sean Fardell||NSW||Commodore||VX|
|9||Kumho Cup||Neill Motorsport||Bradley Neill||QLD||Ford Falcon||FG|
|11||Championship||Kenwood Homes||Michael Anderson||NSW||Ford Falcon||FG|
|21||Championship||Brad Jones Racing/SCT Logistics||Jack Smith||QLD||Commodore||VE II|
|27||Championship||MW Motorsport||Tyler Everingham||NSW||Ford Falcon||FG|
|39||Kumho Cup||Vectra Corp||Chris Smerdon||SA||Ford Falcon||FG|
|56||Kumho Cup||Coe Property Group||Stephen Coe||QLD||Commodore||VE|
|66||Kumho Cup||Unichip Australia||Jack Sipp||QLD||Commodore||VE|
|69||Championship||Dial Before You Dig/Mac Motorsport||Jon McCorkindale||NSW||Ford Falcon||FG|
|75||Kumho Cup||B Strong Electrical||Brendan Strong||QLD||Commodore||VE II|
|77||Kumho Cup||Protrack Automotive Performance||Gary Collins||VIC||Commodore||VE II|
|96||Championship||Aussie Driver Search||Kyle Austin||QLD||Ford Falcon||FG|
|111||Heritage||Custom Garage||Andy Cantrell||NSW||Ford Falcon||EL|