Sporting Car Club of SA to start season 2020 at Mallala

Friday 31 July, 2020
Photos: Bob Taylor

The Motorsport Australia South Australian Motor Race Championships returns to Mallala Raceway this weekend with more than 120 entrants confirmed the championship’s first meeting for the year.

A limited number of spectators, due to COVID-19 restrictions, will be on hand to witness the bumper action on track, with the regular categories all set to compete in the biggest event in South Australia since the breakout of Coronavirus.

From Sports, Improved Production and Saloon cars to Holden HQs, Prototypes, Formula Ford and Formula Vees, there will be plenty of action all weekend as each category gets multiple races. 

However with each category entering the round with a healthy field, it’s the Circuit Excel series which once again boasts the biggest field with 40 cars to do battle across the two-day event.

It’s been a long time coming for the popular grassroots category, which holds its special Ryan Pannowitch Memorial Trophy for the fifth year running this weekend.

Circuit Excel will also have a special format as opposed to the other regular categories competing over the weekend with split qualifying, six heats and a last chance qualifying race all setting up the winner-takes-all 15 minute lap finale.   

While the grid features a number of highly experienced Excel drivers, there will also be a whopping nine drivers making their debut on the weekend with a special prize to be awarded to the highest place rookie at the end of the weekend.

Although the competition will be fierce in the Circuit Excel category, it won’t be the only category where drivers will have everything to race for with Under 2 litre entrants in Improved Production contesting the Michael Rooke trophy  - a traditional inclusion as part of the Winter round at Mallala. 

The category will have 20 drivers all up with an eclectic mix of powerful cars from a range of brands all set to do battle. Some of the notable entries for fans to keep tabs on include Toyota 86 driver Chris Browns and Anthony Norris in the Datsun 1200.

With the Sporting Car Club of SA running its first major circuit event for 2020, SA/NT Motor Race Panel Chair Nathan Green was excited for what the weekend would bring.

“It’s been a long time from when we last had the opportunity to race and it’s great to see people raring to get the 2020 season started,” Green said.

“It’s a fantastic line up of categories this weekend and the first meeting of the year, we’re pretty happy with the amount of entries we have.

“Our scrutineering teams already had a well-established scrutiny process in place which is close to COVID compliant and we're confident competitors and administrators will grow to appreciate efficiencies as electronic documentation processes evolve and we all embrace the new normal. 

“Everyone is ready with COVID event plans and processes outlined in Motorsport Australia’s Return to Race framework thanks to all the pre-work done by staff and volunteers leading up to the weekend, including learnings from sprints and regularities events we've already seen at Mallala. 

“We expect some trepidation as entrants blowout some cobwebs in the first practice, but then we anticipate there’ll be a lot of hard, fast and fair racing over the weekend.”   

The Motorsport Australia South Australian Motor Race Championships take place at Mallala Raceway on 1-2 August.

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