There will be a new one-make category in 2024 and it has already attracted plenty of interest. It will run exclusively on the Hi-Tec Oils Super Series program and has attracted direct founding sponsorship from Hi-Tec themselves.
Justin Lewis ran in the 2023 RX8 Cup Series as a rookie. He became the major category sponsor with his Yellow Express company and quickly became a lightning rod for questions at the meetings about cost, fairness and reliability. Lewis and others were unsuccessful in trying to bring about the change they thought was necessary to evolve the category.
“I attempted to broker a deal between Stacy Vickers (Motorsport UK) and category owner Ric Shaw, but to no avail,” Lewis explained.
“There was a racing incident between Tom Shaw and myself in the second last round, I was issued with a disqualification for the final round at Calder.
“I went into that round leading the national championship. Our own Driver Standards Officer and Race Control deemed it a racing incident. Then there was a one-sided social media assault with only one version of in-car footage. It was brutal assault that shocked me, but I kept my mouth shut and I called Stacy.”
After the final round was completed, Lewis together with Vickers, another ex-RX8 Cup racer and ex-category manager himself, announced F-RX8 and within a week have received over 100 registrations.
The not-for-profit organisation had locked in a race calendar for 2024 and has been joined by driving instructor John Boston from Track School, TCR driver Brad Harris as mentor and other specialists including ex-RX8 Cup Champion Ryan Gorton. Stephen McLaine and Roland Varga have also been added to the team.
“We have had numerous inquiries, not only from RX8 Cup but also from competitors in Excels, Pulsars and even HQs. We will have a level playing field and we will introduce setup sharing to give everyone a fair go,” Lewis said.
“For us It's not about choosing sides, it's about evolving the category, bringing new blood into the sport, and enjoying our racing on a level playing field.
“We have also been talking to Dream Racing Australia who are in the process of moving to new and expanded premises. We would like F-RX8 to be a feeder category to their TA2/Trans Am program and the possibility of at least a test with them for the 2024 winner.”
The AASA-sanctioned series will be in identical specification (for now) to the RX8 Cup cars, has a capped $790 entry fee, cash prizes, subsidised car transport and competitor advisors.
Rounds for the new category have already been locked in at Sydney Motorsport Park, Calder Park, Queensland Raceway, Morgan Park, The Bend and Winton Raceway, preceded by a bonus test day at the Victorian rural circuit in March.