The 2019 Solar and Energy Finance Qld Prodsports Championship fires into action this weekend for one round at Morgan Park Raceway.
The extended break has allowed teams ample time for repairs and development, but also presented the opportunity for a debaucherous Rugby-League style off -season. Club president John Prefontaine has threatened expulsion against those who bring the sport into disrepute and appointed veteran member Tony “Big Pappi” Ross into the newly created Custodian of Standards role.
Morgan Park is technical circuit where braking, handling and driver skill count just as much as outright horsepower. However, with most of the field now on the E85 “Cane Train” it seems that nobody is prepared to be left behind on the dyno count. Team Wellpro head spanner, Rob Hackwood is overseeing the development of an increasing number of Prodsports cars, and is most proud of the rock solid reliability of the Prefontaine Exige. “The standard electronics on that car are pretty average, and left us stranded on a few occasions. The factory wiring diagram looked like the plans to Jozef Frtizl’s basement, but we have gone through it all and ironed out the bugs”
In addition to being the category sponsor, Solar and Energy Finance are proudly supporting the Invited Class for 2019.
Last year saw Wayne Hennig dominate in his modified 911 Cup Car, and with odds shorter than Winx, he is likely to start this season with the same form. Steve McFadden came close on a few occasions last year with the occasional round victory, and is committed to getting the job done this season. Their last encounter at Morgan park was a blow by blow battle for a full 50 minutes with pair crossing for a photo finish. Graham Lusty will be strapping himself into the 7 Litre Mosler and will pursued by local hero Chris Hatfield in the Lola T70 replica. Grant Watson gives away several hundred horsepower to his class rivals, so will be pitching his turbocharged Mx-5 against some mid – pack opponents.
The Dolce Bella Confectionery 2B competition is brimming with talent and fierce rivalry. John Prefontaine had a flawless 2018 and was only pressed by Tim Janke on points, but not on pace. His Lotus Exige is the highly developed supercharged 4 cylinder, and will be joined on the grid by Adam Hargraves in his late model force-fed V6 Lotus with nigh on double the cubic capacity. Hargraves is relatively new to the Qld Prodsports scene, but is fresh from a Class victory in the Bathurst 12hr, so is well seasoned in competitive driving. Jeff Hume’s 2018 season saw his hopes to turn his G50 Ginetta into a Porsche beater dashed, but returns confident of bigger and better things.
Barry Tanton is joined by fellow Porsche drivers Lachlan Harburg, Nic Marentis and Joe Barbagallo with the historic 911’s of Russel Kempnich, Terry Knight and Andrew Whiteside. Qld racing and property identity Gavin Clay continues to fly the Nissan flag as his 350Z steadily improves it’s pace and reliability, while Todd O’Brien’s Ginetta is gaining on the front runners.
Horse Power Solutions are proudly sponsoring 2F which has a well earned reputation for being a fierce battleground and the last bastion of “real race car drivers.” 2018 Champ “Sugar” Shane Freese has spent the off season pool – side with a cocktail, whilst his fellow competitors have been busy advancing the cause and showing impressive form in practice. James Hay is tipped as the man to beat after sorting his new engine and posting a very low 59 second lap during testing at lakeside. Shane Plohl, Blake Ulyate and Paul Ansell ( the Morgan Park Magician) all went sub – 60 on the same test day in an early indicator that 2019 will be the best season ever. Coby Holland joins the ranks and should have a quick car while Richard Barram, Julian Greenwood and Angelo Servodio are working very hard to up their pace. James Wilkins has been very successful at Morgan Park and is joined by Prodsports newcomer and fellow 86 driver Sarah Hargraves for round one.
Looking forward to a great season opener! Thanks to our sponsors Solar and Energy Finance, Dolce Bella Confectionery and HPs ( Horse Power Solutions)