GOLD COAST DEFINITELY DONE
The cancellation of the Gold Coast 500 is official – again.
For the second straight year, and despite ambitious plans that will eventually see the Queensland street race run under lights in the heart of the Glitters Strip, Covid-19 has forced it out of this year’s Supercars championship.
The cancellation opens its planned date, December 3-5, for the likely running of the Bathurst 1000 and an odds-on role as the grand final of this year’s championship.
TOYOTA ON TOP IN GREECE
Young gun Kalle Rovanpera scored the second win of his World Rally Championship in the Acropolis Rally as veteran Sebastian Ogier put one hand on his eighth WRC championship trophy.
Toyota had the faster cars again in Greece, even if Ott Tanak was able to snatch second place for Hyundai as the brand’s title contender, Thierry Neuville was buried back in the pack.
Ford managed a rare double finish for its youngsters, Gus Greensmith and Adrien Fourmaux, but M Sport already appears to be focussed on season 2022 with the expected signing of Irishman Craig Breen to lead its Rally1 assault with a new hybrid version of the Ford Puma.
REMY IS A WORLD CHAMPION
Remy Gardner is still a little short of the points need to confirm his Moto2 world title but has already helped Red Bull KTM Ajo lock down this year’s teams’ title.
Gardner and his team-mate Raul Fernandez have dominated this year’s Moto2 action and finished 1-2 in the latest leg of the series in Spain, although the Aussie was runner-up as he looks to bank points for his crown.
Both riders are already confirmed to graduate to MotoGP next year with KTM.
HEIMGARTNER’S NEW HOME
Andre Heimgartner will drive for Brad Jones Racing in 2022, and likely beyond, after leaving Kelly Grove Racing.
The 26-year-old, who is already a race winner in Supercars, will switch from a Mustang to a Commodore and says he is happy to be rejoining the squad where he first raced as a long-distance co-driver. “BJR was a big part of my resurgence back onto the supercar scene,” he says.
Heimgartner’s arrival signals the departure of Nick Percat, who is strongly rumoured to be joining Chaz Mostert at Walkinshaw Andretti Unite.
MOFFAT DROPS HIS TOP
James Moffat returned to his single-seater roots with hot laps in a high-powered S5000 V8 at Winton during a private practice day with Garry Rogers Motorsport.
Moffat began in car racing in Formula Ford but says the upgrade was a massive, and welcome, rush.
There is no talk of Moffat racing in S5000 but his laps will be useful as he continues his mentoring role at GRM, which has already included Nathan Herne who usually races the car he drove at Winton.
NEW AUSSIE MOTOCROSS STAR
An unknown 18-year-old, Jett Lawrence, has become the first Australian to win the AMA 250 Pro Motocross Championship in the USA.
The youngster, originally from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, won his first major title – the 65cc World Championship – in Belgium aged 11 before he and his family moved to the USA to boost his career.
Lawrence clinched the crown at Sacramento in California and looks set to match, or better, the career of legendary Australian motocross racer Chad Reed in the ‘states.
EVANS RUNNER-UP IN SUPERCUP
Jaxon Evans has come up just one place short of the title in the 2021 Porsche Supercup series in Europe.
After starring in the Carrera Cup in Australia, the Porsche junior was the only driver capable of denying the title to Dutchman Larry ten Voorde in the finale at Monza on the Italian Grand Prix program.
But finishes of fourth and seventh in the two Supercup contests meant he finished the year with second in the series.
AUSSIE RALLY TITLE HIT AGAIN
There is likely to be only one more event in the Australian Rally Championship in 2021 after move Covid-related cancellations.
Both the Adelaide Hills Rally and twin events planned for Coffs Harbour, including Australia’s leg of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, have now been binned.
The only hope for a return to competition this year is an all-new event, perhaps to run at a single venue instead of in forests, in December.