Hooper will make his APC debut with the family team
Ashley Hooper is set to make her Australian production car debut as part of a family effort when the competition heads to Queensland Raceway next month.
Hooper will join father-in-law Chris Begg and brother-in-law Karl Begg driving a BMW M3, having had previous experience in Queensland Production Cars and the Queensland Touring Car Championship.
“APC is a great category to get involved in, especially with the number of different classes in one area allowing for competitors with a range of budgets,” Hooper said.
“In 2019, I raced at QPC in class A2 in a Holden Commodore R8 that Karl lent me.
“The whole meeting was on the Clubman circuit which was great and very different to drive the R8 than what I was used to.
“Heading to APC this time around I’m definitely rusty, not to mention a bit unfit as I haven’t been in a race car since August 2019 – I’ve done a few laps in a car very powerful road bike to QR on a recent test day!
“I’ve never driven a night race before either, so this will be brand new for me,” he added.
“I watched a few night races at QR and it’s a great show so I’m looking forward to it.”
The event will mark the first time that Hooper and the Beggs will compete together, having faced each other separately on other occasions.
For Chris Begg, his goal is simply to enjoy the weekend and share the car with his family.
“I’m going to the QR with no goals or expectations, I’m completely here for running and running with my sons,” he said.
“The reason I came back to racing is because I could race with Karl and Ashley, and they are much better drivers than me!”
Hooper’s ambitions are slightly higher with goals locked on a class podium.
“The overall goal for me is to win the A2 class and put in some decent times,” Hooper said.
“I expect that we will probably be in the top three of the class, provided the drivers and the car are performing well.
“I love running with my family,” he added.
“I race for the fun more than the results, and I’m usually happy if the car is straight in the trailer at the end of the weekend – if we’ve placed, that’s a bonus.
“In saying that, I am a very competitive driver who has been on the track, and I will defend and attack (within the rules of course) if and when necessary.
Hooper has yet to drive the BMW he will campaign with next month, although there are plans for a test day before the weekend.
The Queensland Raceway outing will be the second round of the 2022 Australian production car season, which was last held at Sydney Motorsport Park in May.
It is part of the Australian Shannons Motorsport Championships from August 5-7, with the weekend featuring two 30-minute races and the 300-kilometre fight into the night on Saturday evening.