PREVIEW: Dunlop Super3 field set for Sydney return
ANOTHER fresh start for the Dunlop Super3 Series means that the opening round of the 2022 series this weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park is anyone’s to win.
The season will commence with a 16-strong field competing within the broader Dunlop Super2 series grid this weekend at the venue in Sydney’s West – with both the Championship and Super3 Cup classes both up for grabs for a new name to potentially stake their claim.
With 2021 champion Nash Morris completing his move into Super2, the outright battle in the championship class will be between young-guns Brad Vaughn and Kai Allen, and the returning Blake Fardell.
Vaughn, from the Barossa Valley in South Australia, joins the Super3 field with Anderson Motorsport – a team with proven winning credentials in the series.
He’s a graduate from Toyota 86 one-make racing which should make him adept at the similar, elbows-out style required in Super3.
Allen joins former V8 Touring Car / Super3 Series champions Eggleston Motorsport as a proper circuit racing rookie, but with a glittering karting resume’ behind him.
With the support of the experienced Eggleston team – who won at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2014 and 2015 – the young star is well placed to make an immediate impact.
Though firmly in the ‘privateer’ ranks, Blake Fardell was one of the most impressive performers throughout the 2021 season and ultimately finished fourth outright in the championship – behind winner Morris, Michael Anderson and Image Racing’s Reef McCarthy.
The Mr HDT race cars-backed driver had a strong season that included pole and a pair of seconds at Bathurst’s season finale, and a race win at the Townsville SuperSprint earlier in the season.
The battle for the Super3 Cup is wide-open with 13 drivers entered in the privateer class and each of them offering a competitive shot at victory.
After finishing runner-up to Michael Anderson in the Super3 Cup standings last year, Jim Pollicina returns for a shot at another class title this season aboard his ex-Tasman Motorsport VE Commodore.
Jason Gomersall (3rd last year), Brendan Strong (4th), David Murphy (5th) Steven Page (6th) and Chris Smerdon (7th) are also back in a bid to improve further from last year.
While not originally entered, the welcome news of the West Australian border opening allowed Page to lodge a late entry and join the field.
A welcome return for long-time Super3 / V8 Touring Cars team Beikoff Racing will see the Queensland team enter a two-car squad in Sydney: Shane Beikoff to race the team’s well-known AU Falcon in the Heritage class while series newcomer Jarred Danaher will drive their FG Falcon in the Super3 Cup.
Danaher, Kai Allan and Brad Vaughn are the three rookies in the field this weekend as Super3 returns to Sydney Motorsport Park for the 12th time.
Chris Smerdon won the series’ first Sydney event in 2008 in his Ford Falcon – with the Blue Oval having dominated since then claiming all except three events at the venue.
Last year Nash Morris won the only race contested: Sunday’s second event cancelled due to the torrential downpour and a series of red flags that ultimately saw the race declared and a no-result given.
Morris holds the Sydney Motorsport Park Super3 qualifying record (1m32.2149s) while Tyler Everingham owns the race lap record at a 1m32.6693s.
The Dunlop Super2 and Super3 Series will hit the track on Friday for a pair of practice sessions; the first 50 minutes long and the second 40.
Qualifying for Race 1 will then be held on Saturday at 2:00pm with the first race of the season set for 5:50pm local time, over 18 laps.
Qualifying for Race 2 will start at 9:05am on Sunday with the second 178-lap race set for 1:15pm.
Coverage of the weekend’s racing will be on Fox Sports, Kayo Sport and the Seven network.
ENTRY LIST: Round 1, 2022 Dunlop Super3 Series.
|2||Super3 Cup||Page Bros Jayco||Steven Page||VIC||Commodore||VE II||5000||Black|
|4||Super3 Cup||Crusher Parts International||Tony Auddino||VIC||Ford Falcon||BF||5000||White/Blue|
|5||Championship||Anderson Motorsport||Brad Vaughn||SA||Ford Falcon||FG||5000||Red|
|7||Super3 Cup||Mocomm Motorsports Communications||Jim Pollicina||NSW||Commodore||VE||5000||Red|
|23||Super3 Cup||RHM/Nulon||Ray Hislop||TAS||Ford Falcon||FG||5000||Black|
|24||Super3 Cup||Eggleston Motorsport||David Murphy||NSW||Ford Falcon||FG||5000||Silver/Green|
|25||Super3 Cup||Weldcraft Motorsport||Paul Boschert||NSW||Commodore||VE||5000||Black|
|26||Championship||Eggleston Motorsport||Kai Allen||SA||Commodore||VE||5000||Black Blue|
|35||Super3 Cup||Unit Racing||Jason Gomersall||QLD||Ford Falcon||FG||5000||Black|
|39||Super3 Cup||Vectra Corp||Chris Smerdon||SA||Ford Falcon||FG||5000||Blue|
|46||Super3 Cup||Turbo Brisbane||Jarred Danaher||QLD||Ford Falcon||FG||5000||White/Black|
|68||Heritage Class||Turbo Brisbane||Shane Beikoff||QLD||Ford Falcon||AU||5000||Blue/White|
|75||Super3 Cup||Strong Motorsport||Brendan Strong||QLD||Commodore||VE||5000||Black|
|76||Super3 Cup||Valmont Coatings||Garry Hills||WA||Commodore||VE II||5000||Black|
|77||Championship||Mr HDT Race Cars||Blake Fardell||NSW||Commodore||VE II||5000||Black|
|219||Super3 Cup||Masterton Motorsports||James Masterton||NSW||Commodore||VE||5000||Grey/Orange|