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The Australian Prototype Series

Oct 2, 2019

The season so far

The 2019 Australian Prototype Series has certainly lived up to expectations, with just one round remaining at The Bend to round out the year.
Only 15 points separate the top three meaning the visit to the South Australian circuit as part of the Shannons Nationals will see a new winner of the series declared, with David Barram, Daniel Gonzalez and John-Paul Drake all in the running for the title.
Ahead of the November’s season finale, take a look back at how the season has unfolded. 
Round 1 - Sydney Motorsport Park
Winner: Mark Short
The season stared with a bang with a healthy field of 15 drivers entered the two-race season opener.
David Barram was the quickest in the qualifying, coming in more than half a second faster than Mark Short, while reigning champion Jason Makris was eighth fastest.
Once the action got underway, Barram announced himself as a title contender, storming home to a 15 second victory over the second placed Makris, Short himself finishing a further three seconds behind in third.
It all changed for the second race as Barram found himself dead last before the first lap was even over and that’s where he stayed, while Short led the field from the first lap all the way through to the chequered flag.
Barram’s race one win salvaged a result as the Chiron LMP3 pilot finished the weekend in equal second place with 2017 winner Mark Laucke.
Round 2 - Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Winner: David Barram
It was far more straightforward in the Series’ second round with Barram redeeming himself after a disappointing second race result in Sydney.
The Queenslander confirmed his status as title favourite after picking up a clean sweep of wins at the Victorian circuit, comfortably beating Makris, Drake and Short to the points.
Series newcomer Carmelo Bonaventura had a mixed start to the weekend, grabbing a maiden pole position after a lighting qualifying lap, only to lose the lead on the starting line in the first race.
As Barram raced through to the three wins, Makris did his best to pressure the leader but often found himself caught in a battle for second between Drake and Short, who themselves spent the weekend battling it out for third – Drake claiming that spot after finishing ahead of Short in the final race.
Round 3- Queensland Raceway
Winner:  Jason Makris
The reigning champion was back on the top step after a slow start to the season but it didn’t come without incident.
Barram took out his fourth consecutive series race win in the first outing ahead of Daniel Gonzalez and Makris who was in third place, before some tough racing between Gonzalez and Barram saw the former lock under braking and take out Barram from behind – putting them both out of the race.
With Barram and Gonzalez retiring from the race, Makris cruised to a victory ahead of Drake, Laucke and Paul Trengove, who enjoyed a welcome return to racing after several years off track.
While Barram was unable to take part in the rest of the weekend, a remorseful Goznalez made an impressive recovery in the final race to notch his first win for the season and score some valuable points.
Although Gonzalez enjoyed a final race win, it was Makris who got the round win on home soil, with Drake and Laucke rounding out the top three.
Round 4 - Winton Motor Raceway
Winner: Daniel Gonzalez
Goznalez picked up where he left off in Queensland and continued his rise up the ranks to claim the round win after picking up three top-four finishes, including a race win.
Despite Drake grabbing the pole, it was the South Australian Trengove who enjoyed success in the opening race over Gonzalez after the pole sitter, Drake, had a forgettable race – limping home in seventh place.
Drake recovered nicely in race two to finish second behind Gonzalez and ahead of Barram who had picked up his second third place for the weekend, while Trengove came in at fourth.
The final race belonged to the South Australians Drake finally got his much deserved win and Trengove finished just behind him. Despite the great result for Drake, Gonzalez had done enough over the course of the weekend to take out the round and put himself right in contention for the title.
The season finale takes place at The Bend Motorsport Park on 15-17 November as part of the Shannons Nationals.