THE 2017 Performance Wheels Australian Trans-Am Series officially draws to a close this weekend, with drivers in all three classes battling for championship honours at the final round of the series at Lakeside Park on September 30 and October 1.
Iwan Jones – September 2017
As drivers aim to secure the maximum 105 points up for grabs across qualifying and the four races at the historic circuit, punters will be treated to some action-packed racing throughout the thundering muscle car field as class battles are fought in the Trophy, Sportsman and Five Litre divisions.
Officially, the respective place getters in each division will not be confirmed until after the race meeting, with final points standings yet to be modified as per the ‘drop your worst round’ policy.
The Trophy series will be fought between Ian Palmer (Pontiac Firebird – 413 points) and Shannon O’Brien (Pontiac Firebird – 410 points), with Anthony Tenkate (Ford Mustang – 331 points) holding third position comfortably.
With only a three-point advantage over O’Brien, Palmer claimed three race wins to secure his maiden series round win at the penultimate round at Lakeside, although he is certainly weary of his championship rival’s form, who collected the previous four round wins this season.
New Zealander Tony Rutherford (Ford Mustang – 470 points) continues to holds an unbeatable lead in the Sportsman Series by 201 points ahead of Dan Fleming (Ford Mustang – 269 points) and Harry Charalambous (Ford Mustang – 180 points) heading into the final round.
A consistent weekend with a string of podiums for Charalambous saw him take the round victory last time out at the Lakeside Classic, and he will be looking to match last season’s effort that saw him finish as runner-up in the class.
A run of hot form coupled with mechanical dramas for Mike Collins (Ford Mustang – 365 points) and a season-ending engine issue for Gareth Jones (Ford Mustang) saw Ron Prefontaine (Ford Mustang – 391 points) take a 26-point series lead in the Five Litres at the Lakeside Classic with all still to play for with one round remaining.