- by APS MEDIA
The Bend set for series finale showdown
The GC Marine Australian Prototype Series returns this weekend for the final round of the 2022 season, forming part of a massive Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships event at The Bend Motorsport Park.
In celebration of the final round of the first season since 2019, one of the biggest fields in its history has been confirmed with 21 competitors entered - a feat that sees the category boast the second largest entry list for the whole event.
Making up that entry list is a mixture of experienced campaigners, regular competitors and debutants looking to get a taste of the series ahead of a highly anticipated 2023 season.
However, while there is a large portion of new faces taking part in the finale, it’s three regular drivers will be the main attraction for race fans courtesy a three-way battle for the title.
Leading the series is one of the drivers with a wealth of experience in the series in Jam Motorsport’s JP Drake - the popular South Australian keen to break the duck and secure his maiden title.
Standing in his way after a maiden round win at Queensland Raceway in August is international driver Ricky Capo, who has been impressive during his first year in the series behind the wheel of his extremely popular Praga Racing ANZ Praga R1.
While Drake and Capo have been the standout performers of 2022, it’s the third contender in Ryan Godfrey who has been just almost more impressive.
The Jam Motorsport driver has shown plenty of pace and been extremely competitive over the course of his first season - whether it be securing pole positions or leading races on multiple occasions.
Ahead of the season finale, Godfrey was looking forward to debuting at The Bend Motorsport Park.
“We are hugely excited for the weekend because Queensland wasn’t the greatest round and we’re looking to bounce back - especially at a track like The Bend,” Godfrey said.
“It’s my first time racing at the circuit and I am stoked, however I need to come in with a relaxed and smooth strategy especially since it is going to be wet.
“I do like the wet and I feel confident racing in it too, so my main goal is to have fun.
“I think I should have fun because we have such a big field and I really love the circuit for its quality and because of its big aero corners. The car will have a lot of grip so I just need to chip away.
“Other than that, I am really excited and it’s amazing. I can’t wait.”
Godfrey and Drake will enter the round with the support of their Jam Motorsport teammates as the Tailem Bend based team have a season-high 11 cars on its books for the weekend.
Joining the two title contenders as part of Jam Motorsport’s contingent are the likes of 2017 APS champion Mark Laucke and 2022 debutants Tim Cook and Dyson Song.
Although Cook and Song are new members of the team’s stable, they enter The Bend as some of the more experienced members with Sebastian Lip, Phillip Bonvino, Terry Peovitis, Chien-Wen Lieu, Sammy Moussawel and Fillippo Casella all racing in the series for the first time this year.
Rounding out the list of Jam Motorsport drivers is Southern Towbar’s Stuart Elshaw, who will be the only one for the team piloting a Radical and up against a large number of talented Radicals steerers outside of his team.
Leading that charge are GWR's Chris Perini and First Focus' Peter Carr - the duo likely to be at the front of the class.
Other Radical drivers hoping to score a class podium include Perini's GWR teammate Stephen Champion, Shared Runway's Peter Clare and Josh Hunt, Medland Orthodontics' Bill Midland and debutants Michael Whiting of Taylor Collison and ASM's Terry Knowles.
Rounding out the entry list is series veteran Phillip Hughes, who came off a highly successful round in Queensland, where he just missed out on a podium.
The series will enjoy a standard race weekend format, which includes three practice sessions on Friday, qualifying and race one on Saturday and the round’s final two races on Sunday.
Tickets for the event are on sale and can be bought here.
With the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships to be streamed via 7plus, the series will feature in the broadcast for qualifying 10:40am ACDT and Sunday’s final race at 2:05pm.
The GC Marine Australian Prototype Series final round of the 2022 season takes place at The Bend Motorsport Park on 21-23 October.
Photos: Speed Shots Photography