The weekend kicks off with practice sessions at 10:05am and 3:10pm on Friday 16th April 16th. Qualifying rounds will be held on Saturday at 10:15am with the first race scheduled for a 2:35pm start. Race 2 is at 11.44am Sunday with the final race and potentially the championship decider at 3:43pm that afternoon.
With the championship on the line, last year’s winner Paul Manuell is looking comfortable at the top of the pecking order (307 points). Yet Peter Ward (255 points) and Shane Dias (230 points) are very much in contention and will be piling on the pressure. Add to that several new drivers and the return of some seasoned campaigners swelling the grid to a 15-ute field, we can expect some volatile on-track drama.
Matt Gibson is the latest to take the plunge, stepping into the driver’s seat of Peter Ward’s ‘spare’ Holden ute. Utilising skills honed over a decade-long career spanning go karts, Formula First, Toyota TR 86s and Sang Yong Actyon Utes, Matt will be one to watch having achieved 39 podiums to date and raced a V8 Ute several years ago. Brett ‘The Scud’ Rudd – still beaming from his 4th placing in the last round – is also back for more.
The 2020-21 season has thrown up some exciting themes. Newcomers Shane Dias and Phil Ross are already enjoying considerable success in the series, while Brad Kroef in his first ever V8 Utes event made an immediate impact last month. We can’t work out whether it’s the heated competition – or the camaraderie in the pits afterwards – that’s reviving the competitive spirit of seasoned racers and new talents alike.
RYCO 24•7 has had a long and successful history in motorsport and will continue to do so moving forward.
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Photography: Chris Dillon