An absolute bumper field for all categories were on track for Round 1 of the Shannons Nationals at Sandown Raceway which also saw the return of the Touring Car Masters under the now CAMS-run series.
Touring Car Masters
The scene was set for some epic racing in Round 2 of the Touring Car Masters and three big names were hungry for more points. A very narrow Race 1 win by Jim Richards meant it was game on for the remainder of the weekend, as John Bowe finished second and Steve Johnson third.
Clearly wanting to make amends on Sunday, Bowe came storming out to win Race 2 and re-set his lap record. Johnson managed to rumble his GTHO past Richards to take second place leaving Richards in his Javelin third.
The final race of the weekend was a reverse grid, this format provided thrilling racing in the late afternoon sun which saw Andrew Fisher in his Jesus Racing XY GT claim the win after starting in second place on the grid. The drive of the afternoon, however, belonged to Bowe who drove like a man possessed in his Torana to finish a flying third behind Mark King’s Chevy Camaro.
Bowe now leads the Pro Master category by 32 points over Steve Johnson with Eddie Abelnica currently third.
Australian GT Trophy
A clean sweep by Greg Taylor and Barton Mawer in their stunning matte black Audi R8 LMS saw them take out the first round of the Australian GT Trophy class after fending off brilliant performances by Jake Camilleri in his MARC V8 Mazda 3, who also finished second in both 50-minute races on Sunday to take honours for the MARC class.
Rob Smith in his Audi R8 LMS finished the round second overall with a strong third and fourth place finishes in both respective races. Scott Hookey also standout in his Ferrari 458 as he claimed the Challenge class with eighth an sixth from both races.
Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Cars
A clean sweep by Taz Douglas in his VE Commodore taking out all three races across the weekend makes him the one to catch in the rounds to follow.
Fellow rookies Bryce Fullwood and Tyler Greenbury in their BF Falcons also showing great pace to finish a whisker away in second and third overall after some very close racing.
This was also the debut of Emily Duggan, but didn’t have the best weekend, only managing to finish 11th in the last of three races although she made progress as far as lap times were concerned. She qualified for the weekend with a 1:31.4 and ended it with a best time of 1:16.3 which is a huge step in the right direction, we wish her all the best for the remainder of the season!
Kerrick Sports Sedans
Some well-known names in this series set the scene for some fantastic viewing as Jack Perkins and David Wall made their debut to bring what looks to be a fantastic season long battle with long time legend of the series Tony Ricciardello.
The Audi A4 of Perkins proved too much to handle as he made a clean sweep of all three races ahead of Ricciardello and Wall. Riccardello finished second in races one and two followed by David Wall. The final race of the day however saw Wall and his flame throwing Corvette pass Riccardello to take second place and finish a single point behind the mighty GTV. Perkins takes a 13 point lead into the next round which by all accounts will bring more of the same.
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