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Nov 22, 2012

RACES OF THE YEAR - PART TWO

WELCOME to part two of our top 8 races of the 2012 Shannons Nationals season! As outlined in the first part (to view, click here), we put the collective heads of some of the travelling series media contingent and sorted out what we thought were the pick of the bunch from the season so far.

Part one contained some cracking races - and we think you'll agree that this installment does as well!

Compiled by Richard Craill, Garry O’Brien and Darren Smith.

PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE, Queensland Raceway, Race One

QUICK South Australian Michael Almond took victory in the opening race of the penultimate Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia round at Queensland Raceway. John Modystach, who started in second position, took the lead of the race early from pole-sitter Philip Woodbury and Brent Odgers.

Modystach and Woodbury then pulled away from the field in the opening 10 laps, before Woodbury claimed the front position and pulled a gap on his rivals. Behind the leading duo, Odgers, Almond and Jeff Bobik were in the battle for third while John Goodacre, John Morriss and Rose rounded out the top eight.

Woodbury pulled to the side of the circuit on Lap 24 at the end of the front straight, suffering from a loose fuel pump relay, gifting Modystach the race lead and moving Almond to second.

Soon after, the race was given its third different leader – Almond took the lead on Lap 27 after Modystach spun. He dropped further down the order when he spun again three-quarters through the race, dropping to fifth - one place ahead of Rose.

A Safety Car bunched the field together for a five-lap sprint to the finish, leaving Modystach and Rose, who were separated in the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy standings by four points, nose-to-tail with only a handful of laps remaining.

Almond ultimate held his position at the front to gain his maiden GT3 Cup Challenge win – the 17th different winner in the category – from Odgers, Bobik, Modystach and Rose, who narrowly beat Adam Marjoram for fifth place after a last-lap battle – a tussle that was the decider for Rose’s endurance title win.

DIAL BEFORE YOU DIG AUSTRALIAN SALOON CARS, Phillip Island, Race three.


RACE one winner and series leader Simon Tabinor looked likely to be unbeatable until the final lap of race two when his Commodore broke its gearbox and coasted to halt with a box full of neutrals.

Thus, he started the third race from the rear of the grid and in a sensational drive, stormed through to third place, ultimately finishing sixth for the round behind Nathan Callaghan and Shaun Woodhouse.

It was a charging drive from the would-be champion that saw him cross the line at the end of the first lap in a staggering 11th outright – having started 25th from 27 cars.

By the end of lap two he was seventh and the next time he crossed the line Tabinor was fourth and well and truly in sight of the leading trio. He picked off Garry Hills for third one lap later and it was there he finished – behind a massive Holden battle for the lead that was waging between Josh Keane and Travis Lindorff.

The young South Australian ultimately managed to hold off Lindorff by just under one second to record a win – but it was Tabinor’s inspired drive through the field that had people talking after this one.

KUMHO V8 TOURING CARS, Winton Raceway, Race Two


20-year-old New South Wales-based mechanic Aaron Tebb won his first Kumho Series race in a wild nine-lap affair in dicey conditions at Winton Raceway, in his ex-Lee Holdsworth/Garry Rogers Motorsport Commodore.

He was the second of what would ultimately be weekend that saw three winners from the three races contested, mostly in wild conditions at the regional Victorian circuit.

Starting from sixth on the grid in the wet, Tebb picked his way through the field and the conditions to win clear of an equally impressive Hansen, Hunter, Pollicina and Shawn Jamieson.

Tebb’s second place overall (for the round) was his first Kumho Series podium result.

From pole, Tony Evangelou led the field through the first corners however spun out of the lead on the opening lap, handing the race lead to Jim Pollicina. The Holden leader attempted to build a margin, however Tebb’s early charge saw him climb from sixth to second in a startling opening lap, working his way past Pollicina on the fourth lap to take a lead he’d never lose.

Pollicina would slip down the order throughout the remaining laps and ultimately finished fourth.

Later in the day, Josh Hunter would survive three separate safety car interventions to take the third race of the weekend and win the round, to establish a critical lead over Pollicina half-way through the title race – but it was the second race heroics and maiden Aaron Tebb win that elevate this particular race into our Top 8 list.

TOURING CAR MASTERS, Phillip Island, Race Two


BRETT Youlden secured his maiden Touring Car Masters victory when he came out with the glory after a race long challenge with fellow HQ pilot, Mark King in a mighty Phillip Island tussle in May.

King started on the front row and was away smartly, Youlden working his way forward in the reversed top-10 order to climb to third at the end of the first lap.

He soon moved to second and began to battle with King for the race lead, all the while keeping one eye on the rear vision mirror as the faster cars behind began their charge through the field; Race one winner Bullas, John Bowe and Jim Richards, in particular, making quick progress.

However none of the big names would catch the battling pair of HQ’s that were fighting a mighty fight for the race lead. The pair would swap the lead twice on the final lap, Youlden squeezing through to lead before King returned serve.

The decicive battle would happen at turn six – the tricky, cambered and long Siberia corner on the southern side of the Island’s 4.46km twists and turns.

With King sliding his HQ – 308 Holden powered compared to Youlden’s 350 Chev Coupe – to stay in the fight the pair did the old over-under move. Youlden ended up the one in front and went on to take the win by less than a half-second. It was a great motor race between two great drivers finally, finally getting their moment in the sunshine.