Outside the annual Queensland Championship event, the three-part South-East Qld Interclub series provides the most competitive EP on-road action in the state – and for 2014 it fires up this weekend at Meakin Park.
Following it’s usual two-day format, the event sees 21.5 and 10.5 EP Tourer plus the control motor Gas Tourer classes on Saturday being joined by an F1 demo class. Demo classes don’t accumulate points for the series.
Sundays action sees Nitro (Pro) Tourer along with 13.5 and Open EP classes, and the new-for-2014 12th 10.5/1s demo class.
Host club Logan have their track in good shape, with some new pit, spectator and marshalling features to be unveiled this weekend. It’s been a long time since daylight racing took place at Logan, so for sure the evolution of track conditions over the weekend will play a factor.
With entries slowly trickling in, and available right up until the morning of the event, it’s a little hard to make predictions – but we’ve never shied away from inventing stories before…..so why stop now?
21.5 EP Tourer
Local Robert Tyler is consistently the man to beat in this class at Logan, and should run somewhere near the front this weekend. Regular sparring partner David Guyatt will be likewise quick. Beyond that it remains to be seen which way the regular stock drivers go – and who arrives for battle. We could see the likes of Terry Norman, Karl Keuhner, Brad Palmer, Liam Chadwick and James Don (for starters) and if so…this class will be intense. Then there’s Noel Gordon, or maybe even the old warrior Bob Vardy…it’s a good mix of experience vs emerging talent that 21.5 is known for.
10.5 EP Tourer
This is another hard one to pick and in large part depends on which of the regular Open guys make an appearance. Ed Clarke is a definite, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Corey Broadstock, Brad Macdonald and Peter Beckett likewise appear. Then there’s the regular 10.5 runners from Brendale and Sunshine Coast (though some may run Gas Tourer). As a hybrid class attracting drivers from all sorts of places, this one is notoriously hard to pick. Maybe even a guy like Chris Shevelling might pop up in the front of the field….or TIm Weier if he wheels out the TC alongside his recently preferred 12th car. Until we see an entry list….who knows! If Corey makes it, he’ll start favourite.
Cooper Porter and John Taynton are the names that come immediately to mind in GT. Both are quick and will be on the pace. Again from there it depends which of the Brendale or Sunny Coast boys appear. This is the class I’m least qualified to tip….over to you?
F1 attracts a pretty strong regular following at Logan so we can expect to see a decent field getting out and about on Saturday. Matt Belton, Ed Clark, Noel Gordon, Duncan Vaughan are all probables, while old-timer Adam Snook has been seen wheeling an F1 car in recent weeks and could threaten if track time helps him regain his former blazing speed. Karl Keuhner and the two Brads (Palmer/Hall) along with Mal Pearson are more to watch if they make the grid.
Sunday’s demo class is the 10.5/1s powered pocket rockets, surely one of the success stories of SEQ on-road in recent months. Tim Weier, Clayton Hughes, Johnny La Spina and Clinton Livingstone would start favourites in what should be a pretty solid field (with 15-20 cars possible). Could a surprise appearance by Jeff Hamon be possible? He’d definitely be fast if so!
With Brendale club running their first Sunday clubbie of the year this weekend, it’s possible some of the fast north-side guys might not make the interclub. For sure Cooper Porter and John Taynton again will be quick, Clayton Hughes, Chris Watchorn and again Jeff Hamon if he makes the trip. We don’t often get to see Pro Tourers running at Logan, and they’ll be spectacular if we get a good field.
13.5 EP Tourer
It’s the first event for the new-for-2014 13.5 class, the first time we’ve seen these guys line up at a major event. Look for Terry Norman, Karl Keuhner (last start winner), Keith Mackrill, Scott Guyatt, Liam Chadwick, Duncan Vaughan, Chris Shevelling at least to be near the front. And then there’s the unknowns….but if Tim Weier, Clinton Livingstone or Michael Sherman arrive…everybody else could be shuffled back a bit. Making the A final in this class will be a big achievement this weekend. One surprise front-runner could be off-road superstar Jacob Staines. He made a first on-road appearance last fortnight and immediately set the pace.
Open EP Tourer
Fresh off an A final appearance at last week’s Victorian Championships it’s hard to tip against Corey Broadsock. Then again, it’s hard to tip against Jason Dorn and if both are in good shape, a mouthwatering battle lies waiting for us. Beyond those two, there are a heap of guys in contention for the podium and potentially right up front if everything falls there way. Peter Beckett has been working hard to find speed recently but will be strong, Brad Macdonald likewise. Michael Redmond, Leonard Lai and Peter Dooley should also be in the mix. Or what about a surprise appearance from Chris Sturdy? We’ve not heard his name at an on-road track for a while….but if he arrives he could well upset the applecart.
In terms of the interclub points series itself…it’s hard to see this weekend going to anyone other than Logan. Bayside will be strong, and Brendale in a couple of classes too…but Logan across the board look like they might get away to a fast start in the year-long series.
The ever intriguing manufacturer battle in the EP classes will continue. From where we sit it looks like Schumacher vs XRAY in the 21.5 and 13.5 spec classes, Yokomo vs the World in Open, and an all-in war in 10.5!
It feels a lot like it’s been a slow buildup to this event….but we’re getting pretty excited about the next few days. See you trackside!