Prosser Shortlisted in AMRS Awards

Mazda RX8 Cup Series driver Aaron Prosser has been listed among the top 10 drivers of the year for the 2018 Australian Motor Racing Series (AMRS).

After achieving some successful results in speedway, the Kiwi made the transition to circuit racing in the brand-new series, and completed some track days with RaceAway Track Time to fine-tune his driving techniques and car setup.

Prosser burst onto the scene at Morgan Park, where he led one of the races and finished on the podium for the weekend. Despite having to learn every circuit he visited, Prosser continued to improve throughout the season and in the final round at Winton, he took the fight right up to the eventual series champion Ric Shaw, winning a couple of races.

Prosser’s performances were recognised by the AMRS judging panel, and earned him a place in the coveted Driver of the Year Awards.

Read the full AMRS 2018 Yearbook online here.

2019 Cheap Car Challenge Dates

The Cheap Car Challenge four-hour races at Marulan’s Pheasant Wood circuit have become extremely popular over the last couple of years, and since the middle of 2007, we have run a car in several events.

At the end of last year, we expanded to a two-car team and for 2019, we’re looking to run two cars in all eight rounds of the series.

The dates for 2019 have just been announced, and are as follows:

  1. Sunday, 17 February
  2. Sunday, 17 March
  3. Sunday, 14 April
  4. Sunday, 19 May
  5. Sunday, 16 June
  6. Sunday, 18 August
  7. Sunday, 22 September
  8. Sunday, 18 November

The Pheasant Wood circuit was refurbished at the start of last year, and has a technical mixture of corners and elevation changes. The Cheap Car Challenge events are ideal for learning traffic management, and we recommend them for people who want to sharpen their race-craft while enjoying wheel-to-wheel combat.

Contact us for more details on the Cheap Car Challenge events.

Prosser Breaks Through in RX8 Cup

New Zealand driver Aaron Prosser has broken through for his maiden race wins in the Mazda RX8 Cup Series season finale at the Winton Raceway AMRS round, after exciting wheel-to-wheel battles with series champion Ric Shaw in all four races.

Prosser, who previously competed in speedway and completed some RaceAway Track Time track days in preparation for his RX8 Cup campaign, qualified fourth despite never having visited the Winton circuit prior to the race meeting.

At the start of Race 1, Prosser jumped to the lead at Turn 3, taking advantage of some panel-rubbing between the leaders, and led all the way to the chequered flag.

In Race 2, Prosser was under pressure from Shaw for the entire eight-lap journey but was able to keep his rival at bay.

Shaw was able to find a way past Prosser for the win in Race 3, and in Race 4, the two cars raced door-to-door for the entire duration, swapping positions on a number of occasions before Shaw finally prevailed with a last-lap passing move to take the win.

Prosser ended the weekend level on points with Shaw, only missing the round win on a countback.

The other RaceAway-supported drivers also performed well; despite some gearbox glitches and an excursion in one of the races, Brayden Slater finished the weekend strongly with seventh in the weekend’s final race.

Following her Wakefield 301 Division D win the previous weekend, Maisie Place was back in her RX8 for her maiden Winton event, and improved her lap times by more than two seconds between qualifying and the weekend’s final race.

Wakefield 301 Win

Congratulations to Maisie Place and Phil Alexander, who drove their Mazda MX5 to first place in Division D in the Wakefield 301 endurance race on Sunday, 11 November.

Phil started the race and completed a long first stint, elevating the Mazda MX5 into the top 10 before Maisie climbed behind the wheel, and brought the car home in a sensational eighth place outright. As well as being a brilliant result for Maisie in her first endurance race, it was also Phil’s second division win in a 300km event at Wakefield Park.

RaceAway’s Pulsar squad also enjoyed a stellar weekend in the pair of one-hour endurance races; Josh Heath won the first race and finished fourth in the second race to secure the runner-up spot in the championship.

The first race was particularly impressive for the RaceAway drivers; also finishing in the top 10 were Tim/Anthony Colombrita (fifth), Greg Dufficy (sixth) and Mark Crutcher (ecstatic with 10th), while Chris Manning and Wil Foot were 11th.

If Mark was happy to finish 10th in Race 1, he could barely stop celebrating after improving to eighth in Race 2 – it was by far his strongest weekend in the category.

The RaceAway Track Time Hyundai Excel also made its competition debut in the Series X3 NSW category, with the two Lachlans, Gibbons and Mansell, sharing the driving duties.

After starting from the back of the grid due to some teething issues with fuel surge in Saturday qualifying and sprint races, Gibbons drove a storming opening stint, making up more than 10 places before handing the car over to Mansell during an early Safety Car. Mansell drove a marathon 70-minute stint to finish up 14th at the chequered flag.

Wakefield 301 is the Place to Be

RaceAway Track Time has announced its driver lineup for this weekend’s Wakefield 301 endurance race, 18-year-old Maisie Place joining the experienced Phil Alexander aboard the team’s Mazda MX5.

Place, a second-year apprentice mechanic from Moruya on the NSW South Coast, is in just her first season of racing, competing in the Mazda RX8 Cup which runs as part of the Australian Motor Racing Series (AMRS).

Having attended many of the Wakefield Park endurance races as a spectator, Place can’t wait to take her place (pun unintended) on the grid this weekend.

“I love the Wakefield 300, or 301 as it’s called this year, I’ve been coming to all of them since I was a kid,” Place said.

“It’s an event I’ve always dreamed of racing in, and I can’t wait to be part of it.”

Place has impressed many of her Mazda RX8 Cup rivals with her rapid improvements since her debut in the category, but she says the Wakefield 301 will be a whole new experience.

“In the Mazda RX8 Cup, all the cars are the same and the lap times are very close, but in the Wakefield 301 there are all different types of cars,” Place said.

“There will be quite a big variation in speed between the fast and slow cars, and our Mazda MX5 is somewhere in the middle. I’m going to have to deal with being lapped by faster cars, while lapping slower cars. It will be a good learning experience for me.

“It’s exciting to have Phil (Alexander) driving with me – Phil has done a lot of racing in some really big events like the Bathurst 1000 and Nurburgring 24 Hour, so I will be able to pick up a lot from his experience and advice.”

The Wakefield 301 action commences with free practice tomorrow (Friday), followed by official practice and qualifying on Saturday, and the 137 lap, 301 kilometre race on Sunday.

Commentator Confirms Racing Return

Motorsport commentator Lachlan Mansell will swap his microphone for a helmet when he joins the RaceAway Track Time team for the Series X3 NSW (Hyundai Excel Series) 150km endurance event, supporting the Australian Super Truck Championship race meeting at Wakefield Park this weekend.

The Goulburn resident’s voice is familiar at race tracks across the country; his role as the series commentator for the SuperUtes Series – one of the support categories for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship – takes him to some of the biggest events on the calendar including the Adelaide 500, Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000. He is also the live stream host for the Australian Motor Racing Series.

Closer to home, Mansell still commentates many state and national-level races at Wakefield Park. He also calls some events at Goulburn Speedway.

Mansell’s busy schedule means he doesn’t often get the chance to race himself, and he’s looking forward to being back behind the wheel.

“Commentating car racing has always been the thing I’ve loved most of all, and I was never really interested in becoming a driver until one of my friends, Emily Duggan, gave me a test in her Excel a couple of years ago,” Mansell said.

“I found that the experience of driving a race car enhanced my knowledge of the sport and allowed me to offer more insightful comments behind the microphone, so I’ve made it a goal to compete in at least one event per year since then.

“In 2016 I competed in the 24 Hours of Lemons endurance event for cars up to $1,000, and last year I did a Pulsar Series race at Wakefield. I’m looking forward to doing the Excel enduro – I like the strategic and team-work aspects of the long-distance races, and the Excel Series is a very affordable category where the cars are closely matched.”

Mansell’s co-driver will be reigning NSW Formula Ford Champion Lachlan Gibbons, a competitor who also has a wealth of experience in production car racing.

“I wanted Lachlan as my co-driver because he’s very good with driver coaching and feedback,” Mansell said.

“For someone with my relative lack of experience, it’s important for me to have someone to learn from – the only problem is it’s a bit confusing having two Lachlans in the team!”

Mansell also paid credit to the RaceAway Track Time operation, owned by veteran Phil Alexander.

“Phil has raced all over the world, and now he’s made a business out of giving people the opportunity for people to experience the thrill of motorsport,” Mansell said.

“For someone like myself who doesn’t have the time, infrastructure or mechanical expertise to own and prepare my own race car, it’s perfect. All I have to do is rock up at the track with my race suit and helmet, and enjoy the weekend.”

Chaos Reigns Supreme

It was a chaotic weekend for the RaceAway Track Time crew, but both our Cheap Car Challenge combatants and Pulsar Racing protagonists managed to survive the mayhem!

At Marulan, John Connolly, Tom Connolly, Phil Keegan and Michael McMichael took control of our purple Pulsar for Round 4 of the Cheap Car Challenge – after a consistent performance, they qualified ninth and finished eighth outright, recovering from a penalty for contact with another car.

Meanwhile, Sydney Motorsport Park saw a number of our drivers in action for Round 5 of the APRA Series, as part of the MRA (Motor Racing Australia) meeting… and action was certainly the operative word!

Race 1 was shrouded in controversy, with no less than 13 cars excluded for not returning to the pits during a red-flag stoppage.

Race 2 was also red-flagged due to an incident after three laps, so there were some scores to settle in Race 3.

After being caught in the Race 1 and 2 drama, Josh Heath did extremely well to fight his way through the field for a fourth-place finish, and Gavan Reynolds also impressed, putting together one of his best weekends in the series to date – he finished seventh in Race 1 (before the red flag) and ninth in Race 3.

Greg Dufficy and Ian Joyce both steered clear of the carnage to finish inside the top 15 while Ian Ashcroft and Scott Thompson also kept improving their lap times over the course of the event.

The final round of the APRA Series is one of our favourites – it’s the twin one-hour endurance event at Wakefield Park on 10-11 November, so we’ve got plenty of time to give our cars some TLC before then!

Fun Had by All at Super Track Day

Our latest Super Track Day was held at Wakefield Park on 28 August, with our cars turning more than 700 laps over the course of the day.

Our APRA cars were leased out to the “Newcastle Scoundrels” corporate group, who steadily improved their times over the day, benefiting from expert driver coaching from our star instructors Harry Hayek and Jayden Ojeda.

A number of drivers and teams also brought their own race cars to the day, taking advantage of the open pit lane sessions to accumulate some valuable track time to test their vehicles and refine their skills.

RX8 Rookies and Cheap Car Challengers Shine

RaceAway Track Time’s Mazda RX8 Cup rookies and Cheap Car Challenge combatants have recorded some impressive results across two different race tracks on the weekend.

In Round 3 of the Mazda RX8 Cup, held as part of the Australian Motor Racing Series (AMRS) round at Wakefield Park, Brayden Slater was back aboard the RaceAway Mazda RX8, while leading instructor Phil Alexander was also assisting Aaron Prosser and Maisie Place with driver development and car setup assistance.

Prosser, a New Zealander who now calls Australia home, was making his very first visit to Wakefield Park. After qualifying 11th, he stormed through the field in Race 1’s wet weather conditions, running as high as fourth before a late braking move saw him ending the race in the gravel trap at Turn 2.

Not to be discouraged, Prosser staged a strong recovery in Race 2, charging through the field to sixth. In Race 3, he battled with Matt Butters and Stephen McLaine on his way to third (setting the fastest lap in the process) and in Race 4, he chased series leader Ric Shaw all the way to the chequered flag to round out a strong weekend.

“It was my first time at Wakefield Park, and it took me a little while to come to grips with the track, which is where Phil’s knowledge was very useful,” Prosser said.

“Qualifying and Race 1 didn’t quite go according to plan, but we tuned the car across the weekend, and by the last race it was a rocket.”

Slater enjoyed a consistent weekend, continuing to develop his race-craft through battling more experienced drivers. After qualifying ninth, Slater finished in the top 10 in three of the four races and set his best lap in the fourth and final race, demonstrating his steady improvement curve.

“Brayden did everything we needed this weekend,” Alexander said.

“He brought the car home in one piece in each race, and learned a lot by racing wheel-to-wheel with others.”

In her very first circuit race meeting, Place had an eye-opening introduction with the wet weather in Race 1, but steadily improved her times in the remaining three races. The second-year apprentice mechanic demonstrated raw enthusiasm over the course of the weekend, relishing the chance to learn about the sport from others.

Half an hour north of Wakefield Park, the RaceAway Pulsar participated in the Cheap Car Challenge at Marulan’s Pheasant Wood facility.

Drivers Shane Fowler, John Connolly, Phil Keegan and Steve Champion qualified 16th, but a combination of no mistakes or penalties, consistent lap times and clean racing saw them improve to fifth position at the finish – the best result for RaceAway in a Cheap Car Challenge event to date.

Fowler even recorded a “breakout” time at one stage, going faster than the minimum-permissible 1:03 lap time, demonstrating the RaceAway Pulsar was a match for every other car in the field in terms of pace.

Double Jeopardy

Being in two places at once is impossible for some… but not us!

This weekend (18-19 August) we will be competing in the Cheap Car Challenge at Marulan’s Pheasant Wood circuit, while also running an entry in Round 3 of the Mazda RX8 Cup, being held as part of the AMRS (Australian Motor Racing Series) round at Wakefield Park.

The Cheap Car Challenge has become one of the events we recommend to those who want the experience of wheel-to-wheel racing, along with the teamwork and strategic aspects of endurance events – pit stops, driver changes and working with others.

We’ll be running our purple Pulsar and our driver lineup will consist of Shane Fowler, John Connolly, Steve Champion and Phil Keegan.

Half an hour down the road, Brayden Slater will line up for his second start in the Mazda RX8 Cup, following his promising debut performance at Morgan Park. We’ll also be assisting 18-year-old Masie Place, who becomes the first female competitor in the series.

Sunday’s RX8 Cup races will be live streamed from Wakefield Park and we’ll share the stream on our Facebook page, so stay tuned!