Power Rankings Team TRT May 15, 2023 (Comments off) (273)

Power Rankings: SpeedSeries The Island

Good grief, that one had it all.

Some of the things we unpack in this edition of the Power Rankings from the SpeedSeries at Phillip Island include:

  • An epic race finish
  • An epic crowd reaction
  • An epic driver meltdown

This is our Hot/Not+What from a big one at the Island.

ABOUT THE RANKINGS: The TRT Power Rankings are compiled by your nominations from social media and edited by the TRT editorial team. They’re designed to give a balanced, as fair as possible critical overview of those things that excelled and those things that struggled, at each event. It’s (mostly) a democracy, and what you nominate generates the order, so have your say next event via our social media channels, @theracetorque on Facebook, Twitter and Insta. Look for the call out each evening and get commenting!


1. Trans Am

This is the weekend we have always wanted from the Trans Am tribe, epic racing, and storylines, which were delivered by the truckload (also see: HOT 3).

While Owen Kelly romped to race one, Nash Morris picked up the mantle of the hardest person to pass in motorsport since John Bowe on Sunday, with two epic breakthrough drives to hold on at the point of the field.

A 0.04sec margin between Morris and James Moffat in the finale after a race-long battle is peak motorsport.

Top-tier stuff, more please.

2. Michael Clemente/Jordan Cox things, TCR et al.

If Trans Am knocked it out of the park, TCR put some solid points on the board, too, with some very cool moments from the weekend.

Who doesn’t love an underdog story?

Michael Clemente is another Hyundai Excel graduate getting the job done at a professional level, with the scream from his new Cupra solidly drowned out by his fan club, which could be heard from all corners of the GP circuit when he stole the lead on the final circuit of race two.

That’s not hyperbole; it was a genuinely loud reaction from passionate fans.

Jordan Cox also did Jordan Cox things, which is why he also has earned a solid support network trackside.

Who doesn’t love a skid? His ability is incredible.

Then there’s Josh Buchan, who took two commanding wins whilst also continuing to be bloody excellent in the commentary box.

Hot. Hot. Hot.

3. Beefs

There has been a reasonable amount going on in the media in Trans Am land, in a case of the World Vs GRM, or indeed GRM Vs GRM.

Then as it transpires, Liam Talbot was somewhat fired up following the GT World Challenge weekend.

Storylines sell the sport by engaging the masses, and from the sidelines with our bucket of popcorn, we are absolutely here for it…

4. Phillip Island

It’s a venue that has been bypassed by Supercars, but the Island continues to show that it can draw an audience.

Obviously, the key international motorcycle meets are huge, but events such as the SpeedSeries and the Phillip Island Classic demonstrate that race fans are willing to make the drive from Melbourne.

The crowd (17,000+ over three days) was staunch all weekend long, even on Mother’s Day, with the Island turning on the best weather we have ever seen – it was postcard stuff.

The meet was also assisted by some solid promotional work (see HOT 6).

All things we love to see – and with the next stop being Winton, another venue bypassed by Supercars, we eagerly await what the audience will be like as that event steps up as a headline act for the Benalla track’s 2023 schedule.

5. GT World Challenge Australia

These guys and girl once again had a cracking weekend.

Some close-quarters racing, drama, niggle, the works, the pair of hour-long races were highly entertaining.

Young guns like Jayden Ojeda and Garnet Patterson are superstars in the making.

6. Supercheap Auto coming to the party

Having a sponsor that actually activates on their sporting properties? That is a bona fide HOT.

Clearly, the trackside attendance on the weekend is proof positive that the lure of a freebie is too good an opportunity to pass up.

PS. This is not a paid ad, but the Supercheap Auto Club offers incredibly good customer service, if buying car things is up your alley.

Well done to Supercheap on the initiative, and we trust it didn’t burn through your entire marketing budget.

(Also the Power Rankings definitely need a sponsor. – Editor)

7. GT4 + Production Cars

A very deep field, with lots to keep the fans entertained.

Shane Smollen used all of his Porsche experience to dominate proceedings in his one-week-old GT4.

8. New TCR Machinery

Everyone loves that new car smell, with some fresh iron coming out of the woodwork for Phillip Island.

After that initial injection of TCR at the local commencement of competition late last decade, it’s great to see some new-spec machinery heading down under, adding some spice to the competition.

Tom Oliphant’s Lynk & Co is a head turner, while Michael Clemente’s Seat Cupra is as fast as it looks, joining other recent additions from the likes of Audi and Hyundai.

With the TCR Would Tour heading Downunder, we can’t wait to see more fresh kit land on these shores…

9. S5000

Bloody hell, these things look and sound amazing on the Island.

The Joey Mawson freight train got derailed on Sunday, with Island specialist Cooper Webster smashing home a couple of big wins.

10. Drone Shots

…were ace. Perfect scenery shining in the sun, expertly executed.

Jordan Deckert drives that thing and froze his little fingers off to deliver a lot of those shots. Worth it.


Jude Bargwanna

Super impressive on his V8 Touring Car Debut, he looked right at home winning the first two races before a storming drive in the final after stalling at the start. A small field for a new beginning, but there were some entertaining battles along the way.

Matt White

Hearing the voice of Supercars in the early to mid 2000s (They’re ALL in the fence! / Released the Shackles on Car 51.. / WHAM! / and so on..) back calling racing was superb. Matty White was back in his element on the weekend and hearing his voice attached to the epic Trans Am racing just added to the show. He sure picked a hell of a weekend for a comeback..



We’re writing a letter to the editor of Facebook on behalf of the editor of The Race Torque. They had one job…

Just Bargwanna Things

Lego man has found a home in What

Despite the large crowd, one section of the spectator mound was suspiciously empty…

Note: on the bottom image, the skidmark one patron left as they alighted from the fan club area, seemingly in a hurry after they realised where they parked.

Are you lost, mate?


1. The true impact of Tassie Trans Am trauma

It was revealed this week the true impact of the massive Trans Am fracas from Symmons Plains, with Ben Grice giving a rundown of what he experienced in the accident. Scary stuff…

2. Grid Sizes

It was an issue at Symmons Plains, and on the mainland, it continued.

The combined GT4 and Production car field was an obvious exception, GT World Challenge was solid, but everything else was slightly below par.

No doubt numbers will grow, but having a few more cars on track would have been good to entertain the strong audience trackside.

3. Will Brown

Will Brown’s Audi is snake bitten, after running down a black cat as it drove under a ladder whilst smashing a mirror. Gut-wrenching start to the season for the former champ and headline act in the TCR ranks. Everything that could have gone wrong absolutely has to date in 2023…

4. FPR Problem

An ugly off at ultra-high speed at turn one in Saturday qualifying cost the V8 Touring Cars a starter for the weekend.

5. Doing skids in the pits…

Don’t do this, kids…

6. Ending under safety car

On multiple occasions over the weekend, races ended under safety car, such as the Sunday morning Trans Am race, which robbed that heat of a grandstand finish.

Perhaps the toughest example was the Sunday morning Production Car race, where the Ginetta became bunkered at the Southern Loop.

After a while, the Safety Car scrambled, and picked up cars in the midfield. Once the wave around was complete and the recovery vehicle was allowed onto the circuit, the chequered flag was waving.

Adding insult to injury, the rear tow hook on the car was knocked off earlier in the weekend in another recovery.

7. Wildlife

Phillip Island did it again, with wildlife getting onto the dance floor multiple times, with suboptimal outcomes.

In a positive note, this rabbit managed to navigate from the inside of Siberia, over the track, into the wilds of Phillip Island in the midst of the Saturday GT race. Quality entertainment for the punters trackside, run rabbit, run!

8. James Moffat’s Window Net

…Dropping down in Trans Am race one, costing him an almost certain race win. Special mention to Lochie Dalton, also from the GRM stable in the same race, who was forced to pit with his door opening.

9. TCR Tyre Blowouts

Destined for a second-place finish in the opening TCR race, a tyre failure was a gut punch to reigning champ Tony D’Alberto. With the long tour back to the pits, the knockout strike came in the form of a DNF, meaning he couldn’t even line up from pole position for the reverse grid race two. Similarly, Tom Oliphant in the new Lynk & Co suffered a similar failure, with his shortcut back to the pits via the turn four run-off being him bounced from the results and the race two pole as well.

10. Restart Games

Firstly there was Yasser Shahin’s attempt on a GTWCA race one safety car restart, which saw the Porsche attract a 5sec penalty, that dropped the car from the win and off the podium. Tough break.

On Sunday, Joey Mawson’s run at the top of the S5000 charts came to an end when he was adjudged to have jumped too early in his move to pass race leader Cooper Webster. Costly stuff all around that impacted race wins.


Track Changes

While progress is HOT, the event was just a victim of timing, with the extensive works to the facility taking out of circulation the top end of the track for punters to complete their run around the circuit. A short-term inconvenience for a safer race track in the long haul.


Both days, but caused a half-hour delay on Sunday. Ugh.


Presentation points


If eating KFC makes you a great racing car driver, the F1 talent scouts need to look no further than the editorial team at TRT for the next ‘big’ thing…

(Have we mentioned yet that the Power Rankings need a finger lickin’ good sponsor? – Editor)

Anybody? No? Cake.

Thanks, Doc!

It’s a show about nothing…


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