The 2019 NSW Production Touring Car Championship is set for an intriguing season finale at the Sydney Motorsport Park Muscle Car Masters event on 31 August-1 September, with titles to be decided across all seven classes, as well as the crowning of the outright champion.
The unique points structure for NSWPTC places an emphasis on class results rather than outright finishing positions – as a result, there are six drivers from four different classes with a chance of winning the overall title.
Leading the way is Class B2 (Performance Naturally Aspirated) driver Geoff Kite, who leads the outright points by virtue of winning his class in all five rounds this season aboard his Commodore SS-V.
Kite’s nearest challenger is series veteran Matt Holt, in his Class A2 (High Performance Naturally Aspirated) HSV Clubsport R8. Holt has been a consistent front-runner in NSWPTC for many seasons now, and has been the driver to beat in Class A2 all season.
Coming into the weekend third in the overall standings is Michael King, who holds the ascendancy in Class A1 (High Performance Forced Induction) aboard his Mitsubishi Evo X. The turbocharged performance and all-wheel-drive traction of the Evo continues to make it a popular choice for production car racers, and King was particularly strong in the Wakefield Park rounds, where he was able to exploit the Evo’s handling prowess against the heavier Aussie V8s at the technical Goulburn circuit.
After several seasons racing an Evo, Daniel Oosthuizen switched to an HSV for this season and is fourth in points (second in Class A2), while the overall top six is completed by a couple of Class D (Other Touring Cars) drivers, Harrison Gray and Edan Thornburrow in their Toyota 86s. The fight for Class D honours has been one of the most intense in the field, with Gray and Thornburrow separated by just four points heading into the season finale.
While the contenders in the other classes may not be in contention for outright championship honours, there are still bragging rights up for grabs. In Class B1 (Performance Forced Induction), Bathurst driver Peter O’Donnell heads the points in his BMW 335i, ahead of Darren Herbert (Mitsubishi Evo V).
Class C (Sports Touring Cars) is led by former outright champ Chris Reeves, who started the season in a Suzuki Swift before slotting into a VW Scirocco for the remaining rounds.
Making a return to the production car racing scene in 2019 has been Phil Alexander, who has driven his Pulsar to three round wins in Class E (Small Capacity Touring Cars), and holds a handy advantage over Bruce Colbey (Suzuki Swift).
While the outright and class championship battles will be the weekend’s main focus, competitors will also have the chance to experience the thrill of racing in the dark, with the event including a novelty night-time qualifying session and race on Saturday evening, in addition to the three day-time races across Saturday and Sunday.