HE HAS ONE OF the most famous surnames in Australian Motorsport, but James Brock is well beyond any need to live up to his ‘son-of-a-legend’ status.
His complete focus is on seeking to build on his strong start to the Australian GT Championship protected by Sargent Security when the series returns to the Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils at Phillip Island on May 25-27.
The Melbournian finished second in the opening round of the GT championship in Adelaide this March, driving for Erebus Racing as part of a two-car Mercedes Benz SLS AMG attack with team-mate Peter Hackett.
Remarkably, Phillip Island will mark the first time that the ‘Brock’ surname will be seen on the results sheet at a Shannons Nationals round since the Utes raced at two rounds in 2006 – but all the man himself cares about is building on his promising start to the season.
“It’s been a really good start and since then we’ve had a few days testing at Phillip Island, so I know what to expect going into the weekend,” Brock said.
“Testing has gone really well and we know what we need to do. My pace has been pretty comparable to what we have seen everyone else doing there during testing so I’m not unhappy with the speed. I don’t think we have the fastest car over one lap, so I don’t know how we’ll go in qualifying, but over a race distance we are really good; the car will do the same times at the start as it will at the finish.
“The plan is to keep scoring points and finishing races and if we do that then we will look pretty good at the end of the year.”
Having dabbled in V8 Supercars but with his racing background predominantly in the V8 Ute series, James says he has quickly adapted to the high grip, high downforce and high powered world of Australian GT.
“I’ve driven plenty of cars with lots of grunt, like V8 Supercars, but my background is mainly in the Utes so it was an experience getting my head around just what this car can do,” He said, trademark grin firmly in place.
“It takes a while to get your head around the philosophy that ‘The faster you go around the corner, the quicker you can go’, thanks to the aero the car has and the grip it generates. The grip and braking are just unreal. The SLS is just phenomenal – it’s the best thing I’ve ever driven and it’s almost as if it’s made for a track like Phillip Island, my favourite track in the world.
“That transition has been helped by the great group of people we have at Erebus Racing. It’s a great team.”
A 24-car entry has been received from the revitalised Australian GT Championship, offering an incredible weekend of sports car-style racing at Phillip Island.
Similar numbers are expected in the equally vibrant Porsche Staff Solutions International GT3 Cup Challenge series and with nearly 50 exotic GT cars entered across the two categories, race fans are in for a treat.
The GT field includes familiar names like Round one winner Klark Quinn (Porsche GT3-R), Greg Crick (Dodge Viper GT3), Kevin Weeks (Ford GT) and a two-car entry from Ferrari team Maranello Motorsports, Nick O’Halloran securing sportscar ace Allan Simonsen in his 458 GT3 and Peter Edwards with the equally notable John Bowe in his.
Paul Morris is entered as part of a three-car VIP Petfoods team; ‘The dude’ set to drive the Quinn-owned Aston Martin DBRS9 under the Sargent Security banner, alongside Tony’s repaired Ferrari 458 and Klark’s Porsche.
Several newcomers will also make their debuts at the Island, former Production car ace Peter Conroy set to get his Audi R8 on track for the first time whilst former Porsche Cup champion Martin Wagg will race his Aston Martin DBRS9.
Moslers, Porsches and an Ascari also feature in the packed field that will take in two, one-hour races as part of a packed Shannons Nationals Presented by Hi-Tec Oils program set for the Phillip Island weekend – the one immediately following the V8 Supercar round.
The Australian Manufactures Championship will also be in enduro mode with their pair of one-hour races, whilst the Touring Car Masters series makes its return to the Shannons Nationals with a packed 32-car field.
The Porsche Staff Solutions International GT3 Cup Challeng e, Australian Superkarts and Kerrick Sports Sedans will also feature in a truly high-performance weekend.
Tickets are available at the gate: weekend passes are available for $35, with Saturday-only entry is $15 and Sunday-only $30. Racing commences Saturday afternoon – following qualifying – and continues throughout Sunday.
Action from Phillip Island will be broadcast in subsequent weeks on the popular ‘Speedweek’ program on SBS TV, plus regular replays on Australia’s only 24/7 Motorsport Network, SPEED TV Australia.