ENTRIES OPEN DECEMBER 8TH
Targa Racing Planning 3 Car Assault
Defending Queensland Endurance Championship Team Targa Racing are planning a three-car assault on the 2017 Queensland Endurance Championship. The Newcastle-based team claimed the championship in the hands of Nick Leonstnis who also won the Lakeside 300. The team prepare a multitude of cars including BMW Z3. Mazda MX5 and VW Sirocco’s for customers to hire. Team Principal Chris Cough has become a master of getting his cars in the race winning position and is why so many drivers rent a Targa Racing prepared car for the 300 races. Targa Racing a finalising their driver line up soon and will release their vehicle lineups early in the new year.
Numbers, Numbers & Numbers
- Only four drivers have competed in every 300 (3 at Queensland Raceway & 1 at Lakeside) they are Tony Ross, Paul Chapman, Nathan Jess and Brock Giblin. The drivers who have done all 3 Willowbank 300’s are Tony Alford and Justin Delaney, Grant and Ian Sherrin and Peter Batterham and Michael Wedge.
- Father & Son combinations have competed in the 300’s. Families are a big part of the 300 races, and we love
to see Father’s and Son’s running together. Steve & Jake Shelley, Peter & Shaun Lacey, Wayne & David Clift and Paul Jarvis with Ashley & Dion Jarvis. While Tony and Kyle Alford have competed in the same race but different cars on two occasions.
2 – Brothers who have contested the 300 with each other are Grant & Ian Sherrin and Dion & Ashley Jarvis.
HOLLY ESPRAY AND RICHARD ESPRAY TO COMPETE IN THE 2017 ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP Holly Espray made her racing debut in the 2016, at the age of 13. Alongside her father, Richard Espray, Holly managed a respectable 10th place in the Lakeside 300 and finished 3rd in her class. Holly has already confirmed her plans for 2017, and is set on running in both the Willowbank 300 and the Lakeside 300 with her father as her co-driver. After her consistent showing in the 2016 Lakeside 300, Holly hopes to make more of an impression on both races next year. Holly is a common face around the Lakeside track, competing in the Lakeside Historic as well as the 300 but she has yet to tackle the Queensland Raceway track
A new set of challenges await her in 2017, but with the ease she has adapted and grown since making her debut this year, itâ€™s all par for the course.
HOW THE 300 Endurances Races Work The 300 Endurance events are a unique event. They are based on the premise that anyone can go endurance racing and allow people to operate on small budgets and a small crew to get the real Endurance race feel while still being competitive. The refuelling is done in a safe and controlled environment that means competitors donâ€™t need expensive dry brake system but can build their own refuel device simply and for around $150. Refuelling is done with a mandatory 5 minutes Pit Stop were fuelled does not need to be rushed and takes out a significant portion of the risk refuelling. The 5-minute stop has also been incorporated into the strategy of the event making in an important part of the race for the whole team. The Event has successfully run a unique Division system based on time. This allows cars to race similar speed cars and battle them with a skilled driver, Pit stop strategy and consistency. The Division system takes out unnecessary costs and has had many people compete on old tyres or with fewer performance parts as they are racing the same speed cars.
In All the 300 Endurances races can be completed by two mates who want to drive together in a team or for the dedicated family teams that want the whole family and friends to be involved in the race. The 300â€™s usually end up a family affair as it allows more than just the drive to be involved with strategy & pit stops. Once thing is for sure you have to try it and get your team together for the 2017 season.
DRIVER PROFILE : NATHAN JESS Nathan Jess is set to to return in 2017 for 300 Glory. The 2015 Willowbank 300 winner and recent Winton 300 winner Nathan Jess will once again return to the Queensland Endurance Championship and has indicated he will compete in both the Lakeside 300 and Willowbank 300 in 2017. Jess will be chasing the Lakeside 300 specifically in a bid to become the first man to win all the 300 titles available on the East seaboard. Jess a Canberra native lined up with first timer and fellow Canberra driver Ryan Reynolds to finish second in the 2016 Lakeside 300. The pair were hunting down eventual winner Nick Leontsins and Adam Dodd falling just under a lap short after the two compulsory stops they were required under Division 1 rules. Jess is always a popular figure to race against and will bring excitement to the 2017 Queensland Endurance races.
RACING CAREER SUMMARY
Races entered 43 Wins 16 Podiums 26 Pole positions 5 Fastest laps 11 Race win percentage 37.2% Podium percentage 60.5%
HISTORY OF THE EVENT The History of the Willowbank 300 is short yet oozes with character in only three short years. The inaugural race in 2014 was won by Steve Owen and Gerald McCloud in an Astra. The pair were a division one car and set a high speed and consistency that saw them win by a healthy margin. A pack of MX5 made the top 10 with third place coming from Division 3 which signalled to drivers that itâ€™s not all about speed and tactics play a large role in being on the podium in the race. 2015 it was another Division one car that took the honours. Nathan Jess and Matthew Thomson, an experienced pair from endurance racing, won in their Futurbusa again from Division one. The times were adjusted in 2016 to bring division two
into the race more and what an outcome it achieved. Division two BMW E30 of Matt Mobsby and Glenn Trigger won in what was labelled an epic 300 which saw at least 6 teams as the likely winner at some stage of the race. The pair managed to hold off and record the first Division Two win in the events History. The Lakeside 300 kicked off its first event in August of 2016. A healthy grid of cars joined the race in which Division two BMW Z3 of Nick Leontsinis and Adam Dodd took victory ahead of the Honda Civic of Sydney brothers Jimmy and Benny Tran. Nathan Jess recorded another Endurance podium and showed the favourite does not always take the victory.
Livestreaming is a big part of being involved in the Willowbank 300. Now in its third year, it will be once again streamed to the world while plans are afoot for the Lakeside 300 to be streamed as well of the success of last yearâ€™s event. Approximately 5,000 people watched the Willowbank 300 with people from all over the country and overseas joining in the stream that saw a topsy-turvy race that was eventually won by the BMW E30 of Glenn Trigger and Matt Mobsby. Livestream will be enhanced this year with live timing on-screen and Pit stop interviews as well as some expert commentary race analysis. This 2017 Livestream of the Australian Endurance Championship is set to be the best yet.