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Nov 25, 2012

HUNTER EDGES CLOSER TO KUMHO V8 TOURING CAR SERIES TITLE

TEENAGER Josh Hunter has claimed victory in the opening race of the final round of the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series at Sandown Motor Raceway in Melbourne.

The Finance-Ezi Falcon driver started from pole position - his second of the 2012 season - and hunted down a fast-starting Tony Evangelou (ex-Jason Bright/CAT FPR Falcon) to take the lead on lap five of 10, going on to claim his eighth race win of the year.

The win, coupled with collecting three bonus points for taking pole position, extends Hunter’s advantage over title rival Jim Pollicina to 60 points with 100 more points on the line in tomorrow’s final two races of the season.

Pollicina took his ex-Jason Richards/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ to fifth place in today’s race to keep the title fight alive, but didn’t have the outright speed to challenge the front runners.

Series debutante Marcus Zukanovic put in perhaps the drive of the race as he took his newly-reliveried ex-Garth Tander Toll HSV Dealer Team Commodore from 16th - and last - on the grid through to finish third.

Queensland young gun Morgan Haber finished fourth clear of Pollicina, Justin Garioch, Matt Hansen, Bobby Jane, Michael Hector and Ian Yeing, who seized 10th place at the final corner after passing Maurie Pickering.

Fourteen of the 15 starters were classified as finishers with Aaron Tebb’s HDT/Sydney Star Commodore the only retirement.

Shane Hunt’s ex-Brad Jones Falcon AU didn’t take the start after clutch problems in practice, while Lyle Kearns’ ex-Paul Morris Commodore suffered engine dramas in Friday practice and was withdrawn.

Coverage of the remaining races will be shown live online tomorrow at www.itvlive.com.au with post-produced television coverage on SBS’ ‘Speedweek’ and a one-hour program on SPEED in the weeks ahead.