NATHAN Jess and Matthew Thompson will be out to defend their remarkable 2014 Winton 300 win when the annual club-level endurance race hits the local circuit this weekend.
The Canberra duo’s Future racer, with Jess at the wheel, spectacularly took the race lead on the final lap last year from Michael Caine/Gerry Murphy in their Mazda RX7.
More than 120 drivers will jump behind the wheel this weekend in the Winton 300 and with a record 64 entries, the race will be divided into two races with a ‘B-Main’ (282 kilometre race) for slower cars followed by the main 300km race for outright contenders.
Competitors have travelled from as far as Queensland to take part in the third and final event of the Australian Endurance Championship (AEC).
Jess/Thomson also lead the AEC by just a single point from Caine/Murphy, with Jake/Steve Shelley (Lotus Elise) a further four points back after all three combinations competed in the Queensland 300 and Wakefield 300 earlier this year.
If any of the top three combinations win the race, they will take out the AEC title.
Local combinations entered in the event include the Wangaratta pairing of Matt Thewlis and David Bernardi (Nissan Pulsar) and female racers Hayley Swanson (Subaru WRX V8) and Kaitlyn Hawkins (Suzuki Swift) from Albury-Wodonga.
The Winton 300 will be supported by a field of Alfa Romeos and Super TT including entered locals Daniel Van Der Heyden and Steve Murray.