A tense championship battle will resume at the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals this weekend at Willowbank Raceway, with local Aaron Tremayne and Victorian Chris Soldatos ready to resume their rivalry at the final round of the 400 Thunder championship.
Tremayne, a 7-time Australian Champion will be looking to add another to his already impressive resume, which would make three consecutive championships in the 400 Thunder era – something which has not been achieved in any category up to this point.
He holds a 57-point lead over rival Chris Soldatos who is enjoying a career-best season in the Tingay’s Smash Repairs Pontiac GTO. Soldatos began the season well with a controversial win over the second Mega Bulk Fuels / Tremaniac Racing car of Tyronne Tremayne, however he relinquished the points lead after the third round of the series and now faces the mammoth task of playing catch up to the most successful racer that the 400 Thunder Pro Stock category has ever seen.
Tyronne Tremayne still carries a mathematical chance at securing a 1-2 finish for the Mega Bulk Fuels team, however he will need Soldatos to stumble in order to achieve it for the second year in succession.
Queenslands Wayne Daley has experienced a season of highs and lows, but an extremely competitive display at the Winter Warm-ups, where Daley recorded a string of six second passes, capped off the perfect preparation in the Diamond T Toolboxes Dodge. He sits fourth in the standings but could move as high as second in the final points if the event falls his way.
His team-mate, Western Australia’s Jodi Racco sits inside the Top 5 in his first full season in the Pro Stock Class. A season built on the back of extremely sharp driving and several holeshot wins, Racco has proved that he is more than capable of taking the fight to the established campaigners in the series.
Pro Stock is the largest professional category at this year’s Gulf Western Oils Winternationals, with 16 cars entered including horsepower king Nino Cavallo, former event winner Brian Pursell, past champion Bruce Leake and the rookie Rob Dekert who will be looking to make his first Winternationals start as a professional racer.
New South Welshman and last year’s championship #3 Jason Hedges will be making his first start of the season, as will former national record holders John Barbagallo and Nick Xerakis in their respective Ford Escorts. Scott Porter has shown form in the lead up to the Winternationals by running a 7.01 personal best in testing and has emerged as a dark horse on his home track.
Former sportsman series racers Paul Beauchamp and the likeable Rick Chilton from the ACT round out the toughest field seen in several years.
Pro Stock qualifying kicks off at 3pm Friday, with session 2 & 3 scheduled for 1.25 and 3.35 respectively.
Can’t make it to the track to see the race? Watch all the action from the Gulf Western Oils Winternationals on https://play.ovo.com.au/event/3600