The 2022 NSW Production Touring Cars Championship will be decided in a season-ending one hour endurance race at Sydney Motorsport Park this Sunday, as part of the final round of the NSW Motor Race Championships.
While as many as the top 10 drivers could mathematically take the Motorsport Australia NSW State Championship, Liam Cade is in a strong position with a 14-point advantage over his nearest rival, Dimitri Agathos. The other main contenders are Michael Ferns, Harrison Cooper and Adam Gosling.
It’s a similar story in the Club Championship, although the margin between Cade and Agathos is tighter at 10 points, with a bigger margin back to Ford Fiesta driver Stewart Follows.
Although there will be plenty of intrigue surrounding the battle for the outright title, an interesting sub-plot is the contest for the Endurance Cup. Matt Boylan sits atop the endurance standings in his Mitsubishi Evo X, but has not entered the meeting and thus the fight will be among five drivers who are separated by just eight points: Agathos, Stephen Thompson, Jarrod Muggleton, Gosling and Simon Hodges.
Also up for grabs this weekend are class titles in each of the eight classes that make up the NSW Production Touring Car Championship, in both the State and Club Championships. Below is a summary of how things stand in each class.
Class X – Ultimate Performance
In the State Championship, Simon Hodges (BMW M4) boasts a 20 point lead over Paul Pearson (VF HSV GTS), but in the Club Championship, it’s BMWs leading the way, with Anthony Soole holding a 12 point advantage over Hodges.
Class A1 – High Performance Forced Induction
Whether it’s the State or the Club Championship, Dimitri Agathos’ consistently front-running performances in his Subaru WRX STi have catapulted him to the class lead ahead of the pursuing Mitsubishi Evo drivers.
In the State Championship, it’s close – Harrison Cooper trails Agathos by just six points.
However, Agathos has already wrapped up the Class A1 Club Championship – his lead over Matt Boylan (not entered) is 38 points, and an insurmountable 68 points over third-placed Cooper.
Class A2 – High Performance Naturally Aspirated
The top three drivers in this class are the same for both Club and State Championships, with Rob Coulthard (HSV Clubsport) leading Brent Howard (BMW M3) by 38 points in the State standings and 46 points in the Club score. Trevor Symonds rounds out the top three and will score a similar number of points to Coulthard this weekend, given they are sharing the car for the enduro.
Class B1 – Performance Forced Induction
Adam Gosling’s Honda Civic Type R has produced plenty of entertainment this season, often nipping at the heels of the more powerful rear-wheel-drive cars. With a margin of 56 points over Jarrod Muggleton in both the State and Club pointscores, Gosling has already wrapped up both titles.
Class B2 – Performance Naturally Aspirated
Bevan Tanner is in a strong position aboard his VY Commodore SS, leading by 36 points from VT Commodore pilot Jonathan Fishburn in the Club standings and 28 points from Tony Virag in the State standings. Tanner’s rivals would need him to endure some misfortune to have a chance of defeating him.
Class C – Sports Touring
This class is shaping up for an intriguing finish, with neither of the top two drivers in both the State and Club standings, Robert Bryden and Carl Climan, entered for the meeting. Thus, the fight for the title is shaping up as a contest between John Fitzgerald, in the trusty Garry Mennell-owned BMW 130i, and Zane Gibson in his Toyota 86.
Class D – Touring
He may have a fight on his hands in the battle for the overall titles, but Liam Cade’s Class D position is more secure (although not totally assured). He heads Andrew McMaster by 26 points in the State standings and Stewart Follows by 40 points in the Club score.
Class E – Small Capacity Touring
This class is set for a grandstand finish, with GWR Australia Hyundai Excel driver Hayden Auld and RaceAway Track Time Mazda 3 pilot Stephen Doorey tied on points in both the State and Club Championships. The battle for this title will come down to a straight fight on track.