THE SHANNONS NATIONALS presented by Hi-Tec Oils turns 60 this weekend, and will celebrate with a festival of everything good about Australia’s racing series designed ‘for the people’.
The series moves to Victoria’s Winton Motor Raceway, near Benalla, for round four of a 2012 season that continues to offer exciting racing and plenty of surprises.
Across the 60 rounds, more than 15 different categories representing every possible aspect of Australian Motorsport - from GT cars to open wheel, Karts to production racers and open topped sports cars – have raced on the Shannons Nationals program.
The Shannons Nationals was formed as a place for categories to compete at a national level on a professional program, with TV coverage and the potential to race in all corners of the country.
In a nod to the series’ opening round held at Wakefield Park in March, 2006, three categories that competed there will also race at Winton next weekend, 60 rounds later.
Australian GT presented by Sargent Security, V8 Commodore Cup and Dial Before You Dig Saloon Cars raced at Wakefield six years ago and will do so at Winton on the weekend, joined by the Staff Solutions International Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, Kumho V8 Touring Cars and Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series.
The series’ 60th round will be a celebration of six years of consistent growth and stability for categories involved.
The June 22-24 event will showcase some of the great categories, vehicles and drivers that are a cross section of what the Shannons Nationals have featured since its inception.
Essentially, it’s like the Queens Diamond Jubilee, just without the flotilla down the River Thames.
“It’s been a great ride to see the Shannons Nationals grow and develop over nearly seven years and 60 events,” Series Director Rob Curkpatrick said.
“Each and every year the series grows with new categories and faces, but one of its major achievements has been the formation of a stable place for categories to compete affordably. The fact that so many categories that were with us at round one and in the first are still racing is a testament to that.
“This season has seen the series expand further, with nine rounds scheduled. It’s appropriate that Winton is the 60th round, too – it was a late addition to the series, but has embraced the concept - and the three rounds we have held here to date have all provided fantastic action. There should be more of that this weekend.”
Curkpatrick said there was still more to come from the Shannons Nationals, with its long term future looking secure.
“More categories approach us to compete, and we are now adjusting round formats to suit the demand,” he said.
“This year we have a Queensland Raceway blockbuster that features night racing, another big round at Phillip Island and so much more to come.
“It’s with the support of great partners like Shannons, Hi-Te Oils, AVE, CAMS and everyone else that has contributed that has made it successful and will continue to do so for another 60 rounds, and more!”
Nearly 100 cars will compete across the six categories this weekend, with action commencing on Friday, June 22nd with private practice, before qualifying and racing is held across the June 23-24 weekend.