Rally ace’s big switch
Winton will honour the late Ashley Cooper, writes CRAIG DUFF
SIMON Evans will swap gravel for bitumen and join the Commodore Cup field for its second annual endurance challenge at Winton Raceway this weekend.
The two-time national rally champion will share driving duties with Melbourne’s Jeff Watters in two 45-minute races as the field competes for the Ashley Cooper Memorial Trophy.
Cooper died in a 200km/h crash in Adelaide last year while racing in the Fujitsu V8 series. The NSW driver had previously competed in the Commodore Cup.
Twenty-four entrants will be intent on claiming the trophy to recognise Cooper’s contribution to the sport. V8 regulars Steve Owen and Shane Price are entered and will team with Tony Bates and series leader Nick Parker respectively.
The Commodores are racing as part of the fifth round of the Shannons Nationals series.
Six categories are involved, including the Aussie Racing Cars’ first trip to the Victorian circuit.
More than 30 of the Yamahapowered pocket rockets will take to the track. They’ll be joined by the Formula 3s, V8 Touring Cars, Saloon Cars and Formula Vee.
On a dry track, the Formula 3 lap record will almost certainly be broken, given the open-wheelers last raced there in 2004 and the newer cars quicker.
Briton Joey Foster leads Melbourne’s Tim Macrow by 18 points. Foster had a mixed day in the previous round at Phillip Island. He won the opening race from Macrow, but retired after a clash at the first corner with Mat
dramatically Sofi in race two, leaving Macrow to grab the race win and haul in his points lead.
Salute to Ashley Cooper: the Commodore Cup car that Jeff Watters and Simon Evans will race this weekend.