High-Flying Action and Close Competition Mark Round 1 of VMRC at Calder Park Raceway.

Drivers took flight over Mt Jane at Calder Park Raceway on March 16-17. The VMRC season launch was a relaxed schedule for the championship ahead of the blockbuster 2024 season, including the Winton 300 on August 9-11.


Filling the schedule over the weekend were the first rounds of the Australian Drivers’ Championship, Victorian Super TT and 2 Litre Sports Sedans/Australian Pulsar Racing Association, while it was Round 2 for the VicV8’s Championship.

Australian Drivers’ Championship (ADC)

It was tight at the top of the ADC field as a dramatic start to the freshly titled championship unfolded! Qualifying saw the top four Hyper Racer X1’s split by just four tenths of a second between reigning 2022/2023 Hyper Racer champs Dean Crooke and Damon Sterling alongside new talent, Ricky Capo and Hayden Crossland.

Capo replaced F3 Champ Noah Sands who unfortunately withdrew from the weekend at the last minute for health reasons. In the end it was 2022 Hyper Racer Champion Dean Crooke who took pole by an unbelievable 0.007 seconds ahead of F3 Champion and S5000 veteran, Ricky Capo, with a lap time of 0:57.95 around Calder Park Raceway. Below them, the top 9 cars all placed within 1.3 seconds of the leader, an impressively competitive field heading into Race 1.

The cars dove into race one row after row, three cars wide, an incredible sight for onlookers who scaled the many embankments of Calder Park for a good view of the action. When all was said and done it was Capo who would take the overall round win in a nail biting battle, trading race wins for overall victory with Crook in second and Sterling third. The average gap between P1 and P2 at the finish line across all four races was just 0.9 seconds, incredibly close racing all weekend long.

Category Manager and Hyper Racer Designer, Jon Crooke said, “In the 60 years I’ve been actively involved in motor racing as a driver, designer and manufacturer, I’ve never seen an Australian Drivers Championship race meeting as competitive as the racing I saw on the weekend. Fifteen identical Hyper Racers’ fronted for the event. In qualifying the top 4 cars were within 0.4 seconds, the top 9 within 1.3 seconds. In the 4 race program, at the finish of race one only 1.6 seconds covered the top 4 after 14 laps of racing, race two 1.7 seconds and so on. Last weekend the world changed, and for the better”

1st – Ricky Capo
2nd – Dean Crooke
3rd – Damon Sterling


The VicV8s saw cars take flight as the Commodores and Falcons launched all four wheels as much as two inches off the tarmac over Mt Jane, an incredible sight!

“We ran well, a few new guys winning and taking lead of the championship” said fellow competitor and Category Manager, Mark Kakouri, who won the first two races before suffering a snapped tail shaft in race three ending his weekend. Brian Finn stepped up in Kakouri’s absence to win the final two races.

However, consistency was the name of the game over the weekend and taking the outright honours and championship class win was Craig Eddy just a single point ahead of Arthur Van Orsouw. David Ratcliffe took the third spot on the podium in Championship class. Sportsman class was won by Mark Pesavento who now sits second overall in the sportsman class standings. Brian Finn was the runner up for the class. “The track was great” said Kakouri, “it developed massively across the day with huge grip levels in the afternoon”.

Sportsman Class
1st – Mark Pesavento
2nd – Brian Finn

Championship Class
1st – Craig Eddy
2nd – Arthur Van Orsouw
3rd – David Ratcliffe

2 Litre Sports Sedans (2LSS) / Australian Pulsar Racing Association (APRA)

2LSS and the APRA ran a combined field for the weekend. Lauren Talbot showed great pace in Friday practice before suffering a suspension issue which unfortunately wrote her out for the weekend as well.

Steve Howard enjoyed a clean sweep for the weekend in his Toyota Corolla KE 30, taking qualifying and all four race wins ahead of Linda Devlin, who suffered throttle position sensor issues on Saturday and was forced to switch into her MINI JCW Cooper S’s sister car, another JCW Cooper S, to keep her second place streak going throughout Sunday. Rounding out the 2LSS Podium was the Nissan Bluebird of James Harris.

1st – Steve Howard
2nd – Linda Devlin
3rd – James Harris

The APRA podium was led by Matthew Butters whose stellar performance had him secure a third outright result in the final race of the weekend, showing the Sports Sedans how it’s done. Lee Nuttall came home second overall with Declan Kirkham in third place. “We love racing with the AASA, they are so accommodating to everything we need, so much more relaxed, so much more track time and cheaper!” said Category Manager, Simon Hales.

1st – Matthew Butters
2nd – Lee Nuttall
3rd – Declan Kirkham

The Victorian Super TT Championship saw David Buntin in his Lotus Elise and Ranald Maclurkin in his Aston Martin run a fantastically competitive weekend. The two British sports cars were evenly matched providing great racing. In the end it was Buntin who would take the win for the weekend.

1st – Ranald Maclurkin
2nd – David Buntin

Enter Round 2 – May 10-12

Entries are open for Round 2 May 10th – 12th at Winton Motor Raceway with the Australian Super Trucks kicking off their season alongside the Australian Drivers’ Championship, 2LSS and Victorian Super TT, Victorian Sports Cars and Hyundai Excel Racing Victoria.

Round 2 Entries & Tickets available here: https://wintonraceway.com.au/vmrc-2024/

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