Caltex Power Rankings: SpeedSeries Hots & Nots
It was a massive year for the Shannons SpeedSeries, with oh so many HOTs and NOTs to fill the Power Rankings pages following its eight-event season.
To arrive at the below lists, we have simply scored the respective Rankings from the season on a ten-to-one sliding scale, with the number one HOT or NOT each week receiving ten points, and so on.
As always, we thank you, the readers of The Race Torque, for your ongoing input, support and patronage of the Power Rankings, plus Caltex for their backing of the project.
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!
Absolutely no contest in the final run-down. The turbocharged tourers were in the thick of the action at Winton and Queensland Raceway, before finishing the year strongly, with big points hauls from Sandown, Sydney Motorsport Park (which would have been top three on its own in the entire countdown…) and Bathurst slamming home the win. The international invasion with the TCR World Tour was an absolute highlight, with the madness of SMP magnificent theatre that may have finally put the class on the Australian motorsport map. While the season went in the favour of Josh Buchan, numerous good storylines and battles dominated the discussion.
2. Trans Am
A perpetual favourite near the top of the rankings – the action from Symmons Plains, Phillip Island and Sandown featured prominently.
3. V8 Touring Cars
What they lacked in numbers, they made up for in action and spicy storylines. This moment of absolute insanity ultimately proved a telling factor in these end-of-year rankings.
=4. Bathurst 6 Hour
It was an absolute pearler – endurance racing at Bathurst continues to deliver time and time again.
=4. Production Cars + GT4
The remainder of the Production Car season also featured strongly, with big fields turning on the action. Consistent nominations from Phillip Island, Queensland Raceway, Sandown and Bathurst show where the combined class is at before GT4 spins off on their own next year.
6. James Moffat
While Moff contributed significantly to the overall Trans Am tally for his exploits throughout the year, he also registered big solo scores in Tasmania and Bathurst, where he claimed the title in sensational circumstances.
7. GT World Challenge Australia
When the GTs appeared on the SpeedSeries roster, they made a serious impression. Two events of note where the category scored highly were Phillip Island and Queensland Raceway, where the action spilled over into the post-race pit lane beefs, which we love.
8. Touring Car Masters
The classic tourers topped the HOT list from a wild winter weekend in Winton, with an added score from the Bathurst International, where the Kiwis came to play.
9. Porsche Sprint Challenge
Solid scores from Queensland Raceway and the Bathurst International boosted the category’s final tally.
10. The Bargwanna Family
Jude and Ben Bargwanna combined to be in the mix from their joint effort in the Bathurst 6 Hour, then there was Jude’s V8 efforts at Winton, both being in the thick of the Sandown action, and Ben blitzing the world’s best to score the SMP TCR pole position.
Close but no cigar: Just missing out on the top-ten were Queensland Raceway, S5000, Marcos Ambrose, Jayden Ojeda, Michael Clemente, Sports Sedans, Will Brown and the concept of beefs, of which there were multiple barnies over the course of the season.
All told, from the eight SpeedSeries events, 47 subjects were HOTted throughout 2023.
With over four times the final tally for the season than the rest of the field, the biffo being put back into the bingle from various classes was a genuine negative.
In order of highest score down, Sandown earned the most NOT points from the Bathurst International, Queensland Raceway, the Bathurst 6 Hour, Winton, SMP and Phillip Island.
Multiple dramas afflicted the tourers at SMP and Queensland Raceway, which earned NOT points.
3. Grid Sizes
It was a constant grumble that was very visible throughout the year. It topped the charts at Sandown, with other big points unfortunately earned at Symmons Plains, Phillip Island and Winton.
4. Ben Grice
If it wasn’t for bad luck, Ben Grice would have zero luck at all. From his massive Phillip Island prang to the continued fall out from that stack topping the charts at Phillip Island, to a tough weekend at Queensland Raceway, to being caught up in other’s tears at the Bathurst International, a season of big speed went sadly unrewarded.
5. Trans Am
Dramas and niggles from Queensland Raceway, the Bathurst International and SMP featured prominently.
6. Will Brown
See: Ben Grice, re: luck. Early season mechanical failures of his newer spec Audi were a massive disappointment.
From the Symmons Plains outfield to Nick Smith’s RX7 at Winton, fire will forever be a NOT.
The Bathurst 6 Hour weather was a major letdown, ditto Friday’s effort at Sandown, from which we have not yet recovered.
From skippys on track at Bathurst to every other animal in the petting zoo on the Phillip Island dancefloor, Australia’s fauna found a home in the NOT section of the Power Rankings this year.
=10. Touring Car Masters
A small grid at Symmons was joined in the rankings by some Winton dramas.
=10. Mikel Azcona’s Crash
Drove headlong into the fence under the safety car in the Mount Panorama finale for no apparent reason, ensuring the title decider for TCR Australia would end in a disappointing fizzle. Topped the non-pops from the Bathurst International.
Michael Clemente’s Winton off, MARC Cars tough weekend at Sandown, Jordan Cox’s dramas, and more just missed the top-ten.
All told, 33 things were NOTted during the 2023.