Rally ace’s big switch

Win­ton will hon­our the late Ashley Cooper, writes CRAIG DUFF

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

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.

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