The 2023 Hi-Tec Oils Super Series will roar into action at Winton Motor Raceway this weekend, marking the start of a new era for AASA-sanctioned national level motorsport.
For the first time, competitors in the series will enjoy live TV coverage, with the SBS and Fox Sports simulcast between 1pm and 4pm on Sunday encompassing at least one race for every category.
Headlining this weekend’s race meeting will be the opening round of the TA2 Muscle Car Series, which has a history of producing thrilling races at Winton. With last year’s champion Jett Johnson graduating to the Super3 Series, the list of contenders for this year’s title is wide open, with young guns such as Josh Haynes, Jackson Rice and Brad Gartner expected to do battle with more experienced racers like Dylan Thomas and Michael Coulter.
There are also some newcomers to the TA2 field this weekend including Greg Keam, who moves across from the Group C and A historic racing category, and Hayden Hume, who steps up from the Toyota 86 Series.
Other familiar names on the entry list include last year’s runner-up Graham Cheney, Driver’s Seat radio show host Matt Mackelden and former Supercar and GT racer Dean Lindstrom.
The Yellow Express Mazda RX8 Cup season started last month at Phillip Island, providing a form guide for what can be expected throughout 2023. Reigning champion Tom Shaw kicked off his title defence in fine style with a round win, but was closely challenged by Luke Webber, one of the big improvers from last year.
Justin Barnes finished on the podium and can be expected to challenge regularly for race wins this season, while brothers Terry and Justin Lewis will also be among the podium contenders, as well young guns Jackson Noakes and Jack Pennacchia. Another interesting addition to the entry list this weekend is Ryan Gorton, the 2021 series champion making his return to the category.
The Australian Super TT Championship has attracted its usual diversity of cars this weekend; local Victorian competitors such as Ross Wood, Trevor Drummond and Andrew Goldman will be hoping that local knowledge works to their advantage, while the always-fast Mark Granger is making the trek from New South Wales to compete in the race meeting.
A collection of BMW E36s will compete in the Under 2 Litre Treaded Tyre class; while the 1.8 Litre four-cylinder machines may look underpowered on paper, the nimble handling of the BMWs will allow them to nip at the heels of the more powerful cars through Winton’s tight and twisty sections, and drivers such as Rob Boaden have proven capable of upstaging the more powerful cars in the past.
Also running alongside the Super TT cars will be the Stock Cars Australia and Muscle Division machines, which will see high-horsepower, V8 NASCARs, AUSCARs and OzTrucks taking to the track. Scott Nind will be on track in his ex-Xfinity Series car, while another vehicle with historical significance is Michael Heppleston’s ex-Gene Cook machine.
The program will be completed by the Victorian Excel Series, which will be divided into Trophy (Under 40s) and Masters (Over 40s) classes. Front-runners in the Trophy Class will include Toby Waghorn, Brad Vereker and Cadel Ambrose, while some of the main contenders in the Masters Class are Larry Merifield, Glenn Mackenzie and Adam Bywater.
Tickets are available at the gate for $15 Saturday or $20 for Sunday, with children under 16 free.