Photos & words: Steven Le

Sunday the 1st of March not only marked the beginning of autumn but also the beginning of the 2015 Australian Endurance Championship (AEC).

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Currently in its fifth season, the AEC is unique in that cars are deemed eligible based on their potential lap-times rather than their mechanical specifications, and split into divisions for each event based on their qualifying times. As a result, its races have attracted larger fields than any other endurance events in Australia.

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The AEC consists of three rounds with the season opener, Valvoline Wakefield 300, being held at Wakefield Park Raceway, a 2.2-kilometer long circuit, located two hours south of Sydney. Being such a popular event, there were over sixty teams entered resulting in the race being split up into two groups.

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The B-Main (Division 7 – Division 4) race was held in the morning with the A-Main (Division 3 – Division 1) being held later in the afternoon.

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All of the teams, including both drivers and their cars, were put to the test through the 300-kilometer long race. Each team had to complete 137 laps and it proved tougher for some teams than others.

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We followed BYP Racing for their debut in endurance racing. BYP Racing, known for their achievements in time-attack racing, tried their hand at endurance racing with Victor Vo and Benny Tran behind the wheel of their budget Honda Civic racecar “Emma”, while Jimmy Tran was race engineer for the day.

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Being new to the concept of endurance racing, the team had to overcome a few issues throughout the day but managed to keep it all under control with great driving from both Benny and Victor to finish 2nd in their division, Division 1. It was a great learning experience for both the drivers and team members and a great result showing they are able to compete competitively not just in time-attack but also endurance racing as well.

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The next round of the AEC is the Willowbank 300 at Queensland Raceway on the 2nd – 3rd of May and we look forward to bringing you more coverage of the AEC then.

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