By Stefan Bartholomaeus - Images courtesy Juliane Caruana, Matthew Paul
The field has been set for the opening round of the Dunlop Super2 Series at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
A 23-car entry list has been locked in, with the contingent of Next Generation chassis swelling to 20 for their second year of eligibility in the development class.
It is expected to be a hotly contested year in the recently renamed Super2 Series, with a variety of young drivers and experienced campaigners set to fight it out.
The line-up is headed by the #1 Prodrive Ford of reigning series winner Garry Jacobson, while former team-mate Jack Le Brocq’s switch to MW Motorsport is the biggest off-season driver move.
Virgin Australia Championship squads Prodrive (2), Brad Jones Racing (3) and Garry Rogers Motorsport (2) all continue to field cars, with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport also involved through its partnership with Matt Chahda Motorsport.
Nissan Motorsport has a new technical alliance with MW Motorsport, while Eggleston Motor Sport, Matt Stone Racing and Kostecki Brothers Racing each field customer Triple Eight Holdens.
Five drivers will compete as rookies – Formula 4 graduates Jack Smith (BJR) and Will Brown (EMS), Australian GT convert Nathan Morcom (EMS), former Ute racer Mason Barbera (GRM) and Brodie Kostecki (KBR), who has recently competed in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series.
Existing competitors moving into Next Generation chassis for 2017 are Paul Dumbrell (EMS), Shae Davies (Nissan), Anton de Pasquale (Paul Morris Motorsport), Renee Gracie (Dragon), Matt Chahda (MCM) and Adam Marjoram (MSR).
Jack Perkins (Dragon) returns to the category for the first time since 2013 and, along with the likes of Dumbrell, Le Brocq, Davies and Todd Hazelwood (MSR), looms as a major threat to Jacobson’s title defence.
The Dunlop Super2 Series will commence its six-round season with three 19 lap races on the streets of Adelaide.