The Australian Prototype Series is returning to the Shannons Nationals in 2019 and with five rounds across four states, reigning champion Jason Makris believes it’s going to bigger and better than ever before.
The series is in good shape ahead of the first round in Sydney next month with a host of new names and old faces set to compete in the 2019 season.
Fresh off his maiden title, the 2018 champion is keen to stay at the top of his game and with a number of drivers upgrading their cars, Makris was quick not to be left behind and also equipped himself with a new car.
The Queenslander was one of three drivers to secure the Italian Prototype Championship winning Wolf Tornado from Italy along with young gun Daniel Gonzalez and 2017 Australian champion Mark Laucke who also purchased the exciting car.
With a new look field, Makris believes his new car will help compete against the series’ big names of Laucke and JP Drake, who he believes will be at the top of their game.
“I have a feeling it’s going to be bigger, better and badder than last year and I can’t wait to defend the title,” Makris laughed.
“It looks like there is a larger field this season with the inclusion of some new entries, as well as a growth in Wolf Racing Cars.
“The Tornado will be arriving in the next couple of weeks and the others getting their hands on one was a major factor behind me buying it. I have a good shot at running with Mark Laucke now.
“Laucke and his new car is definitely going to be up the top this year, JP (Drake) has had a full rebuild on his car which makes him very dangerous.
“Young Daniel Gonzalez may be inexperienced but he also bought a Tornado and looks to be in very serious form, so until I test the car, I am not sure how we will do.
“I would like to think that I am in for a chance to go back-to-back but as we have all seen in racing, anything can happen so we will just wait and see.”
Starting with Sydney Motorsport in May, the Shannons Nationals has been given a boost with a impressive list of categories to open up the 2019 season, with the APS to join the CAMS PAYCE Australian F4 Championship, Porsche Michelin GT3 Challenge Cup and the new TCR Australia Series.
While the TCR series will be the headline act, Makris welcomes the new category and is full of support for it due to the audience it may bring to the Nationals as a result to the TCR’s TV deal with SBS and extended two day live stream.
“It’s going to be a nice compliment for us to compete alongside the TCR field this year,” Makris said.
“We are a different style of category and offer a different pathway. The Prototypes is more of an entry-level category and leads you into LMP3 and Le Mans series.
“The introduction of TCR should see a boost in ratings and popularity within Australian motor sport and it’s good for the Shannons Nationals having TCR drawing in a crowd.
"If we can result in more ratings and more interest from people that want to come and watch live, then it will be a real win for us and the Nationals.”
The Australian Prototypes Series 2019 season will get underway at Sydney Motorsport on 17-19 May.