A bumper grid is set for the second round of the 2016 Australian Trans-Am Series, as the category plays host to some new cars and drivers at Queensland Raceway, as part of the Queensland Racing Drivers Championship meeting on April 30-May 1.
Iwan Jones – April 2016
New South Welshman Cameron Mason will take to the the 21 car field in a 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby Fastback, previously campaigned in Touring Car Masters by the 29-year-old and his 2007-championship winning Father Steve Mason.
Mason, who has raced in TCM since the inaugural season in 2007 said their Shelby Mustang has under gone a few changes to reconfigure to Australian Trans-Am specifications.
“Although there are a lot of similarities between the two series, we still had to make some adjustments and it will be interesting to see how we go, it is safe to say the tyres will be the biggest difference for us,” explained Mason.
“On the rag tyre we’ll be sliding around a bit more, how the cars were supposed to be driven. We’ll run a slightly softer spring and a couple of other adjustments to get the car to handle.
“It will be interesting to see how the car performs on a rag tyre having had so much development on a slick. We might be very fast or we might be very slow so we’ll have to wait and see.”
The Novocastrian, who will be the one of the youngest drivers on the grid is excited about the opportunity to race against some of the seasoned competitors in the series.
“I did pick up a lot from TCM racing with the likes of Jim Richards, John Bowe, Glenn Seton and a lot of the greats there, so racing with Charlie O’Brien and those sort of guys will be fantastic.”
Another addition to the grid will be 2012 Australian Trans-Am Division 2 champion Gareth Jones, returning to the category in a 1966 Ford Mustang Coupe in the growing Mulch Smart 5 Litre Classic Series, presented in the iconic Hertz colour scheme.
Jones is looking forward to driving the car at Queensland Raceway, after a build process of nearly three years in his two-car garage in the northern suburbs of Brisbane.
“The car hasn’t turned a wheel on track, I will be treating the weekend as a test session to iron out some of the bugs that are sure to show up,” said Jones.
Another debutant for Round 2 is Daniel Flemming in a 1967 Ford Mustang Coupe, while a change of ownership sees the ex-Craig Harris 2014 championship winning 1970 Ford Mustang prepared by the Fataz Competition Engines team to be driven by Rob Rubis.
Charlie O’Brien leads the Palmer Steel Industries Trophy class heading into round two on 105 points, with Brett Curran in the Angliss Meats 1967 Mustang on 86 and John English in the Logan Village Smash Repairs Firebird on 79 points, while Martin O’Kane on 24 points leads Alwyn Bishop on 10 points in the Loaders ‘R’ Us Sportsman Class. Meanwhile, Sean English in the MPP Fabrication/Discount 4X4 Mustang leads the Mulch Smart 5 Litre Classics with 97 points ahead of Mark Bowtell on 91 points in his 1968 Pontiac Firebird.
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