2019 HQ HOLDEN NATIONALS PREVIEW

The HQ Nationals head to The Bend Motorsport Park on September 13-15 to decide for the season who is the top HQ driver in the land. Fifty-eight entrants are set to battle it out across two days of racing, with heats and a repocharge system set to determine the grid order for Sunday afternoon’s final race.

While last year’s Phillip Island event was also a brand new circuit for the national title, this season The Bend Motorsport Park offers the most level chance of a playing field that’s been seen in HQ racing for many years. A fair percentage of the field has never turned a lap in anger around the circuit until Friday morning’s first mandatory practice session.

CONTENDERS:

So, who are the contenders to watch out for? Unfortunately the current defending champion Rod Raatjes will not be at The Bend for this year’s Nationals and none of the top three from the 2018 event will be returning, as both Rodney Earsman and Glen McDonald also won’t be competing.

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NSW Driver and 2x Champion Brett Osborn will be tough to beat at The Bend

It will be incredibly hard to go past Brett Osborn in the #86 Osborn’s Transport car.  Osborn won the Nationals in 2016 and ’17 and finished inside the top ten at Phillip Island in 2018, where adverse weather conditions saw the New South Welshman go wide at Honda corner while leading the race in the closing stages, handing the lead to the battling group behind.

Osborn could become only the second driver to move onto 3 national victories, joining John Wood. However, he won’t be alone in trying to achieve that feat, with South Australia’s own Bruce Heinrich also looking to add a third title to his 2011 and 2014 titles. Notably Heinrich won the last Nationals held in South Australia, with victory at Mallala in 2011.

AROUND THE STATES:

Victorian Andrew McLeod will be tough to go past, finishing fourth at the 2018 Nationals as well as second in 2016, he has the pace to be a front runner on the right day and with The Bend’s long front straight likely to suit drafting in the HQs, McLeod will be one to watch.

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Andre McLeod (leading field) will be looking to take home the crown

Six Queenslanders will make the trek south to The Bend with 2018 State Champion Scott Andriske leading the charge. Finishing tenth at the 2018 Nationals, he’ll no doubt be looking to move further up the order come Sunday afternoon. The form man in 2019 has been Brandon Madden, currently leading the QLD Championship and with strong performances in interstate races this year, Madden will be one to watch out for.

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Maddon has been the form QLD Driver this year.

Western Australia will be represented with a fourteen strong contingent of cars. Marc Watkins currently leads their championship heading into the final round, with Michael Howlett sitting in second place. The WA HQs will be ones to watch, with large numbers they may be able to pull something out of the bag in qualifying and set their weekend up nicely.

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With 14 cars representing we should see some great racing from the WA contingent.

From Tasmania Philip Ashlin, Wayne Nichols and Otis Cordwell will be looking to take home the silverware. Ashlin regularly features in the pointy end of the field at national events, and he will be looking to improve on his sixth place at the 2018 title. Earlier this season, Cordwell took the opportunity to race in Queensland at their endurance round and while his car suffered a failure, he was able to throw himself into another car and drive to an impressive result in a car without a cabin setup to his needs – an effort which cannot be ignored with a fifteen lap final to round out the event.

 

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Tasmanian Phil Ashlin will be looking to move up into a podium spot after a strong performance in 2018.

 

ONES TO WATCH:

With almost sixty cars competing it is hard to cover every driver and produce a form guide. Still, we’ve managed to pick out a couple of extras who may go all the way which we haven’t featured above.

Joel Heinrich – The South Australian driver is a gun across multiple levels of motorsport in Australia. With many HQ race victories to his name, Heinrich is also the 2018 Aussie Racing Cars Champion and races in Super 3 and Super 2. His talent behind the wheel and knowledge of The Bend as a home track will no doubt see him at the top of the field.

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Joel Heinrich will be one to watch with home circuit knowledge

Andrew Magilton – The young Victorian took a clean sweep of pole and all three races at the recent Winton round for Vic HQ. While it was his first victories, he did it by beating home Bruce Heinrich all weekend, showing that his race craft and speed is up to scratch heading into the Nationals.

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Magilton (centre) has hit strong form at the right time in the season.

Chris Molle – The NSW driver is probably the best in the current state field not to have won a championship, regularly putting pressure on and pinching victories from Brett Osborn. A tough round at Wakefield Park saw the team not have the power they would expect, however that will only serve as fire for the Nationals, so Molle will definitely be one to watch.

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Chris “Captain Risky” Molle will be looking to make up for missing out on the NSW Championship with a national title.

OUR PICKS:

We spoke to the team at HQ Xtra and sorted out our picks for the 2019 HQ Nationals:

Daniel Beckinsale:

WIN: Brett Osborn

DARK HORSE: Andrew Magilton

Wayne “Hollywood” Healey:

WIN: Brett Osborn OR Joel Heinrich

DARK HORSE: Darryl Crouch

Chris “Bucko” Buckley

WIN: Brett Osborn

DARK HORSE: Andrew Magilton

 

ENTRY LIST:

#2 – Bruce Heinrich – SA

#3 – Shaun Boland – NSW

#4 – Scott Andriske – QLD

#5 – John Wise – Vic

#6 – Scott Allen – SA

#7 – Michael Howlett – WA

#8 – Neil Corey – SA

#9 – Matthew Linscott – SA

#10 – Marc Watkins – WA

#11 – David Smith – SA

#11 – Wayne Nichols – TAS

#13 – Scott Hames – WA

#14 – Darren Peat – WA

#15 – Andrew Magilton – Vic

#16 – Joel Heinrich – SA

#17 – Luke Harrison – NSW

#18 – Evan Kennedy – NSW

#19 – Marck Strachan – QLD

#20 – Christopher Molle – NSW

#21 – Scott Goding – SA

#22 – Derek Riseley – QLD

#23 – Bradley Schomberg – QLD

#24 – David Lines – SA

#26 – Darren Parker – NSW

#27 – Ryan Woods – Vic

#29 – Robert Zoanetti – SA

#31 – Pedro Marusic – NSW

#32 – Philip Ashlin – TAS

#35 – Andrew Lawton – Vic

#40 – Graham Boulter – SA

#44 – Darryle Crouch – SA

#47 – Mark Alfonsi – WA

#48 – Darren Jenkins – SA

#49 – Ryan Davis – WA

#54 – Lee Smith – SA

#57 – Brandon Madden – QLD

#61 – Tim McNamara – SA

#62 – Brian Pangler -WA

#64 – Brad Fox – SA

#66 – Lance Marsh – WA

#69 – Joseph Andriske – QLD

#71 – Otis Cordwell – TAS

#72 – Stuart Kenny – WA

#73 – Jack Harrison – NSW

#74 – Michael Woodbridge – WA

#75 – Phillip Breen – WA

#76 – Bradley Butler – WA

#77 – Brett McGarrigle – SA

#79 – David Redgrove – NSW

#80 – Corey Bradley – SA

#81 – Allan Smith – SA

#82 – Andrew McLeod – Vic

#84 – Matthew Davidson – SA

#86 – Brett Osborn – NSW

#91 – Rory Sharp – WA

#93 – Adam Butler – WA

#96 – Rodney Vervoort – Vic

#99 – Tony Molony – Vic

PREVIOUS WINNERS:

1989 WINTON – Richard Whyte

1990 WINTON – Bruce Williams

1991 WINTON – Geoff Manson

1992 BATHURST – Peter Hopwood

1992 SYMMONS PLAINS – John Talbot

1994 LAKESIDE – Paul Romano

1995 MALLALA – David Lines

1996 BARBAGALLO – David Lines

1997 BASKERVILLE – Neville Haley

1998 – NO EVENT

1999 BATHURST – Peter Dane

2000 LAKESIDE – Craig Yates

2001 HIDDEN VALLEY – Peter Holmes

2002 – NO EVENT

2003 BARBAGALLO – Tony James

2004 MALLALA – Steve Laybourn

2005 WINTON – Peter McNiven

2006 HIDDEN VALLEY – Layton Crambrook

2007 QUEENSLAND RACEWAY – Gary Bonwick

2008 BASKERVILLE – Gary Bonwick

2009 EASTERN CREEK – John Wood

2010 BARBAGALLO – Gavin Poreous

2011 MALLALA – Bruce Heinrich

2012 SANDOWN – John Wood

2013 HIDDEN VALLEY – John Wood

2014 MORGAN PARK – Bruce Heinrich

2015 SYMMONS PLAINS – Rod Raatjes

2016 WAKEFIELD PARK – Brett Osborn

2017 BARBAGALLO – Brett Osborn

2018 PHILLIP ISLAND – Rod Raatjes

2019 THE BEND –

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RACING IN SLOW MOTION – AUGUST

Throughout August we worked with some great events and categories, including TA2, Hyundai Excels, Production Cars, Sports Sedans and the Victorian Rally Championship. On our travels we were able to film some cool things in slow motion, which we decided to compile into a video for your enjoyment.
So settle back and enjoy a few minutes of racing in slow motion.

2019 Small Car Cup Round 1

Pheasant Wood Circuit just outside Marulan hosted the opening round of the 2019 Small Car Cup. An impressive thirteen cars took to the circuit for qualifying with Phil Alexander taking outright and class B pole position in the Raceway N16 Nissan Pulsar, a 1:05.2780 best lap establishing the new lap record for class at the circuit. In Class A Nathan Senior put his Mazda 121 bubble car on pole with a 1:06.9170 best lap during the session.

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While future events will see class A&B split for their respective heat races, for the opening round classes were combined, producing some great racing throughout the field. In the two heat races, Phil Alexander and Mike Behnke split the outright victories with the former receiving a drive through penalty in the second heat, dropping him to 10th outright for the race. In Class A, Nathan Senior continued to show that a bubble car was not making up the numbers, with a pair of class victories heading into the final.

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Freezing temperature, 50km/h wind gusts, and a reverse grid format greeted competitors for the forty five minute final race of the weekend, giving these small cars a final race length which is considered endurance in many other levels of motorsport. Not only would time be a factor, but the twisty, ten-turn layout of the Pheasant Wood circuit would no doubt take its toll on competitors.

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Andy Clarkson would move up to third in Class A across the 45min final race.

Starting from the rear, Mike Behnke passed his way through to the lead quickly, while Phil Alexander took his time working past the field. Once clear, Alexander set about closing Behnke’s lead down and by mid race distance the pair were together, the stage set for a great battle. Over half a dozen laps Behnke did all he could to hold the Raceway car behind, until just after the mid-point of the race when Alexander took the lead. Behnke did not allow a gap to open and shadowed Alexander to the flag, however never had enough to remount a challenge for the top spot.  Behind, a spin for Gerry Frohriech in the second half of the race dropped him down the order, while Nathan Senior was able to hold on in the hotly contested Class A, with a five second victory over Andy Clarkson.

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Nathan Senior didn’t let a late car swap stop him from taking victory. Class A wins across all three races for the Mazda 121 bubble car driver.

The Small Car Cup returns to Pheasant Wood Circuit on October 6th. Entries will be opening soon on the Drivetek website, so if you want to get involved make sure to get your hands on a small car and put an entry in!

RESULTS:

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Battle for Prod Cars Lead

Check out this great battle for the lead in the final race of the Production Touring Cars round at Sydney Motorsport Park last week. Featuring five cars fighting for the lead with; Tony Virag (#41 HSV GTS), Matthew Holt (#65 HSV Clubsport R8), Michael King (#111 Mitsubishi Evo X), Duane West (#98 Holden VF GTS) & Daniel Oosthuizen (#94 HSV Clubsport R8).

GT1 Australia TV

Don’t forget you can catch all the highlights from the second round of the 2019 GT1 Australia season from their round at The Bend Motorsport Park with the AMRS.
Foxtel Ch173 at 8:30pm on Monday July 29th. Or on our YouTube channel, link below.

 

TV SHOW:

2 Litre Sports Sedans

The 2 Litre Sports Sedans headed to Phillip Island circuit for a round of their championship as part of the Endurance Access event with the Australian Production Car Championship.
To find out more about 2 Litre Sports Sedans head to their website HERE

RACE 1:

RACE 2:

RACE 3:

QLD PRODSPORTS TV

The Queensland Production Sports Car Championship kicked off with the AMRS at Morgan Park across April 6/7.
The TV highlights package from the weekend will be broadcast on Fox Ch173 at 8:30pm on Monday May 13th. If you don’t have Foxtel, or missed the show, you can watch it below.


We also have full race coverage from the weekend, with two races falling within the live stream, produced by Blend Line TV.

Watch Race 3 from the round in full here: 

Watch Race 4 from the round here: (available from 7:45pm Monday May 13th)

Production Touring at Bathurst

While today’s Bathurst 6 Hour endurance event is one of the pinnacle events on the Australian Motorsport calendar. It’s heritage is steeped in club racing, with the first return of endurance production car racing at the mountain being made by Production Touring Cars.
Also part of our formation years of Blend Line TV, we were there to provide coverage as the event grew.

2013 – The return of Production Touring Cars and endurance racing to Mount Panorama. A huge field entering as part of a single hour endurance race on Easter Sunday. Plenty of action and entertainment.

2014 – Production Touring returned for another hour endurance race on the Sunday.

2015 – Production Touring Cars increased their weekend involvement with a pair of endurance races for competitors. Comprising of an hour race on both Saturday and Sunday the event was quickly establishing itself as the pinnacle of club production car racing in Australia.
A soggy weekend, one of the wettest seen at the mountain for a long time, provided some spectacular action.
In 2016 the event morphed into the Bathurst 6 Hour, the production car race we know today.
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