MEDIA RELEASE/Circuit Excel SA – Photos: supplied
After a long hiatus, circuit racing returns to South Australia this weekend for Round 1 of the Sporting Car Clubs’ State Motor Racing Championship Series at Mallala Motorsport Park. With over 120 entries, the two-day meeting is set to be the largest motorsport event held in the state since the breakout of Coronavirus.
It is a particularly special round for Circuit Excel SA, featuring the Ryan Pannowitch Memorial Trophy for the fifth year running. First held in 2016, the format is a favourite with competitors and holds strong sentimental value to many competitors who raced with Ryan since the category’s inception.
Over 40 Excels are entered into this weekend’s event which includes 9 first timers – an astonishing but unsurprising number considering the popularity and accessibility of the low-cost category. As a symbol of good sportsmanship, new competitors will be buddied with an experienced one to guide and assist them throughout the weekend. A prize will also be awarded to the highest placed rookie. The unique format, based on split qualifying, six heats, a last chance qualifier race and the ‘winner takes all,’ 15 lap finale mixes up results, hopefully leading to more winners throughout the weekend.
Included in the nine debutants are two females, Helen Stephenson and Cassandra Hoare. although they are not the first women to participate in the category, it is exciting to have them involved on a regular basis.
Helen has been involved in motorsport since she could walk, taking on various volunteer and team support roles with her partner Scott and regularly competing in Sprint and motorkhana events. Despite some last-minute suspension changes, Helen has consistent pace as she becomes more comfortable in the unmissable yellow and orange wrapped Excel.
Cassandra (Cass) is fairly new to the driver’s seat having followed in the footsteps of her brother, Josh, who was a previous Circuit Excel Champion. Since building a car over the Summer, Cass has taken every opportunity to gain valuable seat time at Sprints, Regularity’s and practice days once Coronavirus restrictions were eased. Cass has settled into the car well having shown good speed and confidence. When Cass isn’t competing, she is a talented trampoline gymnast and all-round fitness freak so should be well placed to maintain focus in the 15 lap final!.
16-year-old Isaac Sparks has been waiting all year for his chance to start racing. Along with his dad Martyn, the pair have been enthusiastic members of the club having built a car from scratch since participating in the Tarmac Junior Development Program in 2018. Another junior making their debut is Bradley Vaughan, the talented Dirt Karter was supposed to be racing in the Toyota 86 series which has yet to begin, so has recently bought a local logbooked Circuit Excel to join the action!
Circuit Excel continues to be the go to for budget conscious amateurs young and old who want to go circuit racing with the category running in all states.
For more information on the event, visit the official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/racingforryan and keep up to date with the weekend’s racing via the Circuit Excel SA Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/circuitexcelsa.com.au.
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