Hyundai Excel racing is gaining popularity at a rapid rate, and the CAMS WA Office chatted with the WA Excel Association Club Secretary Lisa Grainger to find out more.
How long has the WA Excel Cup been running in WA and how it came about?
The WA Excel Cup had its first season in 2014, so this year is our fourth and strongest year of competition. The Cup is the brainchild of our president Mike Nairn - he saw the Excel series growing in the Eastern States and decided to bring it to WA. It is a cost effective way of getting people into racing, whether as a development category for young go-karters, or an accessible form of racing for others looking to take up the sport.
Tell us about the Hyundai Excel X3 and what makes it such a great car to race?
Excels are a cost effective car to get into motor racing. They have an average track speed of 117kph, and an average lap time of 1:18 at Barbagallo. All the cars are all built to the exact same specifications, so ultimately a win or a loss comes down to driver ability.
The first round of the WA Excel Cup was held at the SETS Nightmasters in early March, how did that event go for competitors?
Despite the morning rain a WA record field of 14 cars competed on the day. The field was made up of five returning racers from previous years and ten Excel Cup debutantes. The new competitors ranged from karters graduating into a car racing series, new racers in their teens and 20’s, including our first WA Excel cup woman racer, and some gentleman drivers, all with varying levels of prior racing experience.
With the increased entries the Excel Cup class finally got to start a race at Barbagallo Raceway as a main class rather than an addition to another field. The day started with a qualifying session, which despite the damp track went well without incident.
During Race 1 a tight three-way tussle for the win developed at the front. There were other battles occurring throughout the field, giving a great entertaining race.
Race 2 had the top ten from Race 1 reversed on the starting grid. The crowd loved seeing the faster cars make their way through the traffic, and everyone having their own battles again.
Race 3 was developing the same way with the days pacesetters Hill and Macgregor fighting for the lead with McNess and Wood in hot pursuit and closing the gap until a Lap 8 incident. The incident was between the leading Excel and a HQ that was being lapped, and resulted in early end to the race when the badly damaged Excel hit the dirt at Turn 6.
Due to the race result being called based on the leaders at completion of Lap 7, Dean Hill was deemed winner of the day with Brock MacGregor 2nd and Ryan McNess 3rd
Who are some of the competitors to watch in the upcoming second round?
Dean Hill, Brock MacGregor and Ryan McNess are the pacesetters of the last round and they will be returning. Last year’s champion Josh Woods had exceptional pace as well, so with better luck in the next race meeting he will be one to watch. Carlos Ambrosio and Michael Murray are at the top of the WA Excel Cup Rookie table, so it will also be worthwhile keeping an eye on them.
For those wanting to get into Excel racing, where should they go for further information?
We recommend that those interested in racing in the Excel series to come to a race meeting and chat with the drivers and also visit our Facebook page. We are also working on a website at the moment, which will have information about starting out once it is up and running.
The series is growing in leaps and bounds. We are hoping to have 25 entries next year!
Catch the next round of the WA Excel Cup at the Autumn Classic, April 22, Barbagallo Raceway.
Photo Credit: Blake Parry