- by APS MEDIA
Prototype Series enter Sydney with healthy field
The 2021 Australian Prototypes Series begins this weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park with a host of big names forming a healthy entry list.
Taking place as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships’ third meeting for the year, 18 competitors have confirmed their place in the series’ first of five rounds for 2021, including former champions Jason Makris and Mark Laucke.
Joining the series veterans will be a host of experienced campaigners including Glen Stallbaum, Phil Hughes, Bill Medland, Paul Trengove and Sue Hughes while Radical stars Chris Perini, Peter Paddon and Stephen Champion will continue their long standing rivalries in the Radical class.
Searching for his maiden title, popular competitor John Paul Drake enters the series with a new set of wheels, the Wolf F1 Mistral the first of its kind to compete in the series.
While there are plenty of familiar faces confirmed for the season opener, the list of returning stars will make for an exciting round, the most high-profile being reigning Radical class winner Carmelo Bonaventura, the Queenslander once again locked in to run in the Radical class for the opening round.
After taking out the class title in 2019, Bonaventura opted to sit out of the series for last year, but fortunately didn’t miss anything due to the season being cancelled after the opening round in Sydney.
This weekend will be Ian Eldridge’s first race since the 2019 season finale, and just the second round of his career, while Marty Ewer and Nick Ashwin will continue their new transitions into the series.
In addition to the old guard, there are a few debutants to make their mark in the series such as Andres Latorre and Blake Purdie – the latter having impressed many during the three-round Sports Car Invitational Series at The Bend Motorsport Park last year.
The final driver rounding out the entry list is one who is itching to compete again in Michael Naguib.
With the series holding just one round in 2020 at Sydney Motorsport Park before COVID-19 put an end to the season, Naguib nabbed his first ever win in the series and eventually took out the round as a result.
“I am really excited. Haven’t been out on track since September last year, so I am really keen to get back out there and have a bit of fun, especially in Sydney because it’s a sensational track,” Naguib said.
“I not sure there will be a repeat of last year. I would love to win again, so hopefully there is a bit of rain again, which is how I ended up getting the win last year.
“There are a couple of new cars and drivers that are out there this weekend, so it’s going to be interesting. I don’t know how fast they are going to be, but I think JP (Drake) is going to be tough to beat.”
The series begins its season with three practice sessions on Friday, qualifying and race one on Saturday and the round’s remaining races on Sunday.
No tickets will be available at the gates, with all fans encouraged to pre-purchase their tickets before they arrive at Sydney Motorsport Park to save time.
Fans unable to attend the round will still be able to watch a large portion of the action with Saturday and Sunday to be broadcast live and free on 7plus and 7mate, while New Zealand viewers can tune into the round via Sky New Zealand and overseas fans can watch via Motorsport.tv.
The Australian Prototypes Series and Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships take place at Sydney Motorsport Park on 30 April to 2 May.