Winton may be one of the smaller rounds of the Championship – but there’s a huge field of Dunlop Series drivers lining up at the Victorian circuit.
It’s one of the largest grids the series has ever seen – 34 drivers will contest the round at the 3km circuit, which will host the series for the ninth time.
A number of drivers in the category will be paired with main series drivers during the upcoming PIRTEK Enduro Cup – which includes the Sandown 500, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600 – so the miles at Winton Raceway mean valuable driving time before the big three races.
The #11 of Aaron Tebb returns to the field after an accident in Townsville left the Rsport Race Engineering Commodore off the grid at the Coates Hire Ipswich 360.
And there are two new additions to the field, #32 to be driven by Josh Kean; and #41 to be steered by Luke Youlden, entered by Brad Jones Racing. Youlden will partner BJR's Fabian Coulthard in his Lockwood Racing Commodore for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup and is testing with the team at Winton on Monday, ahead of the event, given his co-driver role.
Both Kean and Youlden will be racing Holden Commodore VE II’s.
For the drivers entering the PIRTEK Enduro Cup, there will be the chance to run in their main series ride during Friday practice, with the first 30 minutes of Practice One limited to co-drivers.
And for those not participating in the enduros, they will still have the opportunity to race at Mount Panorama, as it is the sixth, penultimate round of the Dunlop Series.
Of the drivers contesting the Winton 360, Andrew Jones has the highest number of round wins (two) and race wins (three) at the circuit, though they were back in 2003 and ’04.
Dale Wood currently leads Ashley Walsh by 128 points in the Dunlop Series standings, Daniel Gaunt is third, and Jones and George Miedecke round out the top five.