The Aussie Racing Cars are one of the fastest and most affordable classes in Australia and are regularly voted the most popular race category at events in Australia. North Island motorsport fans get the chance to see them in action for the first time when they are one of three support categories for the Hampton Downs 101.
As part of the final round of the season at Hampton Downs, two of the most promising young female drivers in this part of the world will go head to head in the CAMS Trans-Tasman Women’s Challenge. Charlotte Poynting, from Newcastle in New South Wales will represent Team Australia while Alyssa Clapperton from Dunedin will represent New Zealand. The pair will start side by side from the front of the grid in Saturday afternoon’s race.

Poynting is a highly regarded 17-year-old CAMS Academy graduate, who has impressed in her debut season in the Aussie Racing Cars. “They’re such a fun car to drive,” she says. “They’re light and nimble and very fast and they go where you want them to go. I’m getting more and more comfortable in every race. I’ve never been to New Zealand before but I’m looking forward to it and doing good for Aussie in the CAMS Trans-Tasman Challenge of course!”

Alyssa Clapperton will fly the flag for New Zealand. Like Poynting, the 20-year-old from Dunedin started out in go-karts. In the last few years she’s raced in the South Island and North Island Endurance Series and well as a lot of club racing around the South Island. Clapperton will be at something of a disadvantage considering she’s never competed in the Aussie Racing Cars series before but she’s up for the challenge.

“I really enjoy the challenge of getting in a new car. It’s challenging enough being a female in a male dominated sport so jumping in a brand new car just adds another dimension to it. I saw the Aussie Racing Cars at Highlands last year and they look like such a cool wee car. I’m also excited about racing at Hampton Downs. It’s my favourite circuit in the North Island and while I haven’t driven the extended track yet, the old track is nice and flowy and I love the first turn. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and see how I go against Charlotte.”

The Aussie Racing Car combines the very best of established racing technology assembled in a superbly engineered package that gives it amazing performance while being controlled in a one-design class where all cars are mechanically identical. The competition is overseen by strictly controlled rules that are easy for competitors to understand and different body styles to cater for all tastes. You’ve got the latest Mustang and Camaro muscle cars as well as Holden, Ford, Toyota, Nissan and the special Euro GT that replicate the latest model road going marques. All cars are approximately half the size of their full sized counterparts and the driver’s skill level is the determining factor in winning races.

The lightweight composite body is a faithfully designed caricature of its full size counterpart featuring opening doors, boot and lift off front section. Powered by a 1.3 litre 135 BHP twincam 16 valve engine, the performance can only be described as amazing. The 500 kg all up weight provides an incredible power to weight ratio that allows the little machine to rocket to a speed of well in excess of 230 km/h. The lap times achieved are staggering and on many circuits the corner speeds of these little cars are higher than even V8 Supercars.

The challenge will be run as part of ARC’s Race 2 of the weekend on Saturday, October 29 at 1pm with practice sessions on Friday, October 28 at 9.50am, 12.40pm and 2.40pm. Hampton Downs owner Tony Quinn will present the trophy to the winner of the CAMS Trans-Tasman Women’s Challenge at a special function in the Hampton Downs Pavilion on Saturday at 4pm.

October 14, 2016

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