LAP RECORDS could tumble when the Kerrick Sports Sedan series returns to the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit in Victoria this weekend.
With the pace at the pointy-end of the pack hotter than ever and with this weekend representing Jack Perkins’ first ever look at the Island in the John Gourlay-owned Audi Spares Audi A4-Chev, Darren Hossack’s existing benchmark could be smashed this weekend.
That time – 1m27.3296s – was set by the double Kerrick Sports Sedan champion in 2014 however Perkins has been in a lap-record smashing mood this year.
So far he’s set new benchmarks for Sports Sedan competition at Sandown (1m07.97s) and Winton (1m19.87s) while at Queensland Raceway – where he already owned the lap record – he came close to re-setting his previous best.
Phillip Island represents the fastest track on the calendar and a place where Australia’s fastest tin-tops reach more than 300km/hr at the end of the famous Gardner straight.
The existing Sports Sedan record places the series as the fourth fastest racing cars ever to lap the iconic 4.46km circuit – behind only Simon Wills’ outright lap record (1m24.2215s) set in a Formula Holden and Tim Macrow’s Formula 3 benchmark (1m24.5146s).
The Australian GT Championship lap record (1m27.1505s), set in a Mercedes Benz SLS GT3 car, is only fractionally quicker than the Sports Sedan best.
Sports Sedans also lap quicker than any two-wheeled competition that visits the Island, including the MotoGP world championship.
Phillip Island marks the penultimate round of the 2016 Kerrick series and sees nine-time champion Tony Ricciardello holding a 141-point margin heading into the final six races of the year.
The West Australian and his famous Chevrolet-Powered Alfa Romeo could conceivably seal a record 10th title this weekend should he finish the round more than 135 points ahead of his nearest rival.
Ricciardello currently leads former Victorian champion Michael Robinson in the championship, with the Holden Monaro driver holding off a bottleneck of drivers in the fight for positions in the championship top three.
Robinson (247 points) sits just 31 points ahead of Daniel Tamasi, 33 points ahead of Steven Tamasi and 38 in front of Chevrolet Corvette Trans-Am racer Stuart Inwood.
Perkins, with 195 points, sits a further 14 points further behind and will need luck to go his way – or against Ricciardello – should he hope to remain a championship contender heading into the final round of the year.
All five of the leading championship contenders will race this weekend, putting further pressure on Ricciardello as he seeks to seal his championship with a round to spare.
The Phillip Island field also includes Colin Smith (Holden Monaro), Bob McLaughlin (Holden Commodore), Shane Bradford (Chevrolet Camaro) and MARC Cars Australia’s Geoff Taunton (Ford Focus V8).
Ryan McLeod is also entered, racing his dad’s retro Slick 50-liveried Mazda RX7.
The Kerrick Sports Sedan series will tackle three races this weekend, racing on the sixth round of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals.
Sunday’s races will be streamed live at www.thenationals.com.au and the Motorsports TV app for iPhone and Android.
ROUND 4 ENTRY LIST - KERRICK SPORTS SEDAN SERIES
|1||SS||Ricciardello Racing||Basil Ricciardello||Tony Ricciardello||WA||Alfa Romeo GTV||6000|
|4||SS||Auto Union Motorsport||John Gourlay||Jack Perkins||Vic||Audi A4||6000|
|9||SS||Domain Prestige Homes||Daniel Tamasi||Daniel Tamasi||Vic||Holden Calibra||6000|
|32||SS||Bell Real Estate||Michael Robinson||Michael Robinson||Vic||Holden Monaro||6000|
|44||SS||MR Automotive||Colin Smith||Colin Smith||Qld||Holden Monaro||6000|
|50||SS||Slick 50||Peter McLeod||Ryan McLeod||Qld||Mazda RX7||6000|
|51||SS||Marrinelli's Mechanical||Bob McLoughlin||Bob McLoughlin||Qld||Hold. Commodore||6000|
|53||TA||Rise Again Smash Repairs||Stuart Inwood||Stuart Inwood||NSW||Corvette C5||5958|
|68||TA||Aston Air Conditioning||Shane Bradford||Shane Bradford||Qld||Chev Camaro||6000|
|95||M||MARC Cars Australia||MARC Cars Australia||Geoff Taunton||Qld||MARC Focus V8||4957|
|99||SS||Domain Prestige Homes||Steven Tamasi||Steven Tamasi||Vic||Nissan 300ZX||6000|
|1. April 1-3 Sandown Motor Raceway|
|2. June 10-12 Winton Motor Raceway|
|3. July 29-31 Queensland Raceway|
|4. Sep. 9-11 Phillip Island GP Circuit|
|5. Nov. 11-13 Sydney Motorsport Park|