THE 2017 Performance Wheels Australian Trans-Am Series concluded after an action-packed finale at the Lakeside 300, as Shannon O’Brien, Tony Rutherford and Ron Prefontaine secured the Trophy, Sportsman and 5 Litre championships respectively.
Iwan Jones – October 2017
Pole position went the way of O’Brien (Pontiac Firebird) with a time of 59.3807, narrowly ahead of Russell Wright (Ford Mustang) and Ian Palmer (Pontiac Firebird) who all clocked a sub-60 second time.
Wright gained the lead from O’Brien on the opening lap of race one, and was never headed to take the win on his series return. Wright would finish second in the remaining three races to take the overall round win ahead of Palmer and Anthony Tenkate (Ford Mustang).
O’Brien recovered from a fourth place finish in race one to win races two and three, but fell back to fourth in the final. However, a fourth position outright for the weekend was enough for O’Brien to secure his maiden Australian Trans-Am Series title by 26 points over Palmer and Tenkate.
In the Sportsman Series, Harry Charalambous (Ford Mustang) and Tony Rutherford (Ford Mustang) were level on points for the round, with Charalambous securing two race wins, a second and a third to Rutherford’s one race win and three second place finishes.
New Zealander Rutherford was crowned the 2017 Sportsman Series champion ahead of Dan Fleming (Ford Mustang) and Harry Charalambous.
Three out of four race wins was enough to give Ron Prefontaine (Ford Mustang) the round victory in the 5 Litre Classics ahead of Tricia Chant (Ford Mustang) and Mike Collins (Ford Mustang). Prefontaine also secured the 2017 5 Litre Classics Series over former class champions Collins and Gareth Jones (Ford Mustang).
Australian Trans-Am returns to action in an exhibition event supporting the Victorian Sports Sedans Championship at Phillip Island’s Island Magic event in late-November, stay tuned for more news to come about this.