Dunlop Super3 set for Townsville debut
Despite border uncertainty, the Dunlop Super3 Series has confirmed a competitive 10-car field for the second round of the 2021 title race this weekend in North Queensland.
In what will be the debut of the category at the NTI Townsville 500, the Super3 grid will again race alongside their Dunlop Super2 brethren this weekend.
Initial plans for the Townsville round had Super2 and Super3 sharing the 32-car grid capacity by each entering 16 cars.
Unfortunately, six Super3 cars have been forced to the side-lines due to the current New South Wales restrictions and competitors being unable to enter Queensland.
Still, the Townsville field includes a majority of the key title contenders including de facto championship leader, Michael Anderson.
The Dunlop Super3 Series will effectively see a reboot of the championship race following the decision by Jon McCorkindale to step up to the Dunlop Super2 series starting this weekend.
After winning the opening round at Mount Panorama, the New South Wales driver holds a 36-point lead over Anderson in the championship however will be ineligible to score Super3 points at the demanding Reid Park street circuit near Townsville’s CBD.
That leaves Anderson in the box seat to take the most advantage, though just 21 points separate the Bathurst driver, Brendan Strong, Reef McCarthy and fellow young-gun Nash Morris in second through fifth in the standings following round one.
All four feature on the Townsville entry, which also includes Steven Page, Jason Gomersall, Blake Fardell and Gary Collins.
David Murphy will make his debut in the Super3 Cup class while, pending an easing of South Aussie border restrictions, inaugural V8TC / Super3 champion Chris Smerdon will also return to the track this weekend.
Aboard his familiar ex-Stone Brothers Racing FG Falcon, Smerdon is a six-time round winner and remains the series’ most experienced driver; Townsville to mark his 49th round.
While racing together, the Super2 and Super3 grids will continue to use the separate qualifying format announced for the postponed Winton round earlier this year.
That will see Super3 cars tackle a 10-minute stand-alone qualifying session before Super2 cars take to the track for their own session.
The two categories will then share the grid for a pair of 21-lap races, one each on Saturday and Sunday, with coverage on Fox Sports, Kayo and the Seven Network on each day.
Liam Curkpatrick, Dunlop Super3 Category Manager
“It’s been a very challenging period with lots of uncertainty about this weekend and whether it would even happen, but the response we’ve had from Super3 competitors has been nothing short of sensational,” Curkpatrick said.
“We were set to run with a capacity 16-car grid this weekend which was going to be great. It’s really unfortunate for those who are stuck in New South Wales or are unable to travel due to the current climate, but the effort by those who have entered to keep the show on the road has been great.
“We appreciate their commitment and we’re sure the sunshine in North Queensland will be a reward for their efforts. It’s still a very competitive field and the championship is looking wide open between a group of experienced hands and some great young guns coming up through the ranks.”
Entry List – DunlopSuper3 Series, Townsville
|2||Super3 Cup||Page Bros Jayco||Steven Page||VIC||Commodore||VE II||5000||Black|
|5||Super3 Cup||Anderson Motorsport||Michael Anderson||NSW||Ford Falcon||FG||5000||Red|
|24||Super3 Cup||North West Recycling||David Murphy||NSW||Ford Falcon||FG||5000||Silver/Green|
|35||Super3 Cup||Unit Racing||Jason Gomersall||QLD||Ford Falcon||FG||5000||Silver/Grey|
|39||Super3 Cup||Vectra Corp||Chris Smerdon||SA||Ford Falcon||FG||5000||Blue|
|61||Championship||Image Racing||Reef McCarthy||VIC||Ford Falcon||FG||5000||White|
|67||Championship||Flash Bush Motorsport||Nash Morris||QLD||Ford Falcon||FG||5000||Whi/Green/Blk|
|75||Super3 Cup||Linc Scaffolding||Brendan Strong||QLD||Commodore||VE||5000||Black|
|77||Championship||Mr HDT Race Cars||Blake Fardell||NSW||Commodore||VE II||5000||Black|
|96||Super3 Cup||Collins Racing||Gary Collins||VIC||Commodore||VE II||5000||Black|