Matt Kingsley in action at the Shannons Nationals.
Matt Kingsley in action at the Shannons Nationals. Mark Prior

Car driver aims for Bathurst

AFTER first competing in motor sport at the age of 14, Warwick saloon car driver Gary Beggs is now aiming to drive at Bathurst next year.

Beggs was the sole Warwick driver in the Shannons Nationals at the weekend.

“I raced on the dirt at Morgan Park at the age of 14 when Dad (Hughie) was sponsoring some drivers when he had the pub at Sandy Creek,” Beggs said.

After a break from the sport for 10 years, Beggs is back and started 23rd on the grid on Saturday in his EA Falcon in the saloon car section.

He moved up nine places to finish 14th in a field of 30.

In his second race, he started 14th and had moved up to ninth before a small bump from another car pushed him off the track and he finished 16th.

While all saloon cars raced together, Beggs was in the old car saloon section and after two events was in second place.

His best time in the first two races at the Shannons Nationals was one minute, 30.9575 seconds for the new 3km circuit.

After going well in the saloon car event at the weekend, Beggs is now aiming to graduate from a (CAMS) provisional to an open license so he can compete in the lead-up races to major events on circuits such as Bathurst and the Gold Coast.

He does all his own work on the car with sponsorship support from his employer, David Cassels, of Graeme Collins Automotive, who helps with tyres, fuel and parts.

CAMS technical commissioner Luigi Deluca was at Morgan Park Raceway for the first time and said the facility looked great.

“I love the way the long corners flow,” he said.

“It would be fantastic to drive around.”

Warwick District Sporting Car Club member Dan O'Mara was a volunteer at the event yesterday and said he was happy how the track had come up after the work on the extension had been finished.

Toowoomba driver Jimmy Mann was in Formula 3 and rated the track highly after moving to a new class after two successive state championship wins in Formula Ford.

“I was doing up to 215 km/hr at the end of the straight,” he said.



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