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Nov 24, 2012

SOLO PERFORMANCE DELIVERS THOMAS A SANDOWN WIN

DYLAN Thomas’ co-driver and father David was a last minute withdrawal from today’s 40-lap Australian Manufacturers Championship enduro at Sandown Raceway; so the son just looked after the family business on his own instead.

Yet another down to the wire finish in the Production Car series saw Thomas’ CXC Global Mitsubishi hunt down and pass the identical works-supported TMR Australia entry driven by Stuart Kostera and Inky Tulloch for the lead with two laps to go.

Kostera fought back but was unable to retake the lead and fell short of the win by three-tenths of a second – after having a lunge at the leader with a few corners to go.

It capped off a scorching day at Sandown as the Shannons Nationals kicked off their ninth and final round of the 2012 season in 35-degree temperatures.

After an early run in the car this morning David deemed himself unwell and withdrew from the event, leaving the more-than-capable Dylan to do the driving duties.

Fortunately, he was able to bring home the trophy after the pair came close to winning at Queensland Raceway in August.

“Stuart made a mistake out of turn four and that’s where I was able to get passed,” Thomas said.

“Then I missed a gear on the final lap and I thought he would get passed, but he didn’t. It’s a sensational result to win it with two laps to go like that.”

Beric Lynton was third in his ever-improving BMW 1M whilst early leaders Ryan Simpson and Jim Pollicina struck dramas and was forced to make two stops compared to their rivals one - after an early delaminated tyre - and dropped down the order to an eventual fourth-placed finish.

Josh Hunter took pole position in the final round of the Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Car Series – and converted it to a race one victory placing one hand on the series title in the process.

Tony Evangelou got the best start and led the field to race one – but Hunter chased down and passed his Ford rival early in the race to take the win and add another 40 points to his series-leading points haul.

Marcus Zukanovic was arguably the star of the show, starting from the back of the field and storming through the pack to third place in the 12-lap affair.

The drive was made even more impressive after the V8 Development Series racer was forced to storm through from the back of the field after failing to log a competitive lap in practice and qualifying as his team sorted issues with the newly rebuilt ex-Garth Tander Holden.

Morgan Haber and Jim Pollicina completed the Top-10.

Simon Tabinor claimed the Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car Series today by taking the first of three races for the Holden vs. Ford series this weekend.

Tabinor led the entire distance of today’s race but was forced to hold out polesitter Gavin Ross for much of the race – keeping the pressure on and falling three-tenths short at the end of the 10-lap affair.

Local Ford driver Andrew Nowland finished third with Travis Lindorff and Josh Kean completing the top five.

John Bowe scored his seventh pole from eighth attempts in qualifying for the Touring Car Masters series; however it was only by the bumper bar of his ‘69 Ford Mustang.

Bowe edged out Chev Camaro driver Andrew Miedecke by just 0.04s to take a record 25th career TCM pole position as he seeks to win back-to-back titles this weekend.

Jim Richards qualified third but was forced to make a last-minute vehicle switch before the session after his Ford Falcon sprint burst an oil seal and was withdrawn – the seven-time Bathurst champ switching to his existing AMC Javelin which was, conveniently, on display at the circuit.

Richards won at the circuit at their last visit in September and will look to do the same tomorrow, though Bathurst race winner Brad Tilley looks threatening and will start from the second row, alongside Richards.

Runaway series leader Adam Beechey scored another pole position in the V8 Commodore Cup – but looks to have some strong competition this weekend in the form of comeback driver Tony Bates.

Bates missed the top spot by just 0.2s despite not having competed in the category for 18 months – the two very evenly matched ahead of tomorrow’s three races. Chris Stevenson and Jordan Symes completed the second row.

Damien Ward and Callan Sayers locked out the front row in the Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series, title rivals Reece Murphy and Allan Jarvis set to stage their fight for the series win from the second row when their racing commences tomorrow.

Sunday’s action will be broadcast live on the internet via series broadcast partners, www.itvlive.com.au