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Nov 27, 2012

2012 Swift Series Title Decided By 1 Point

The Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift racing series has never ceased to provide the most exciting close racing seen in the Shannons Nationals and the fight for the series this weekend at Sandown Park put the icing on the cake.

With three races over the day the crew from Trans Tasman Motorsport was always going to have their work cut out for them and with the series on the line it was imperative that all competitors were on the ball with tyre choice and set up options as the day grew warmer and the track became sticker with the rubber from the V8 touring cars and the GT Masters cars being laid down.

Race 1 started the days racing under heavy cloud cover and a cool morning with the series protagonists separated by 15 points. Reece Murphy (MGM #62) went into the final three races with the lead over reigning champion Allan Jarvis (Achilles radials #1). The two contenders started side by side on the second row of the grid having both been out qualified by Damian Ward (Hi-Tec Oils #11) and Callan Sayers (Gilligans #5).

The entire field put on a display of close racing that featured a nose to tail freight train for the whole 8 laps of the Sandown layout. The Jarvis/Murphy battle had all eyes watching as they contended with Sayers and eachother. That allowed Ward to build a lead as first Jarvis then Murphy hunted down a very quick Sayers. With Jarvis crossing the line in second place the title fight tightened by 4 points with two races to go.

Sayers home in 4th with Rob Jarvis (BVC racing #17) and Scott Gore (Future Assist Financial #99) close behind. Race 2 was set up to be a decider with Murphy having an advantage starting from the front row of the grid alongside Sayers as the reverse grid format played into his hands. Leaving his rival Allan Jarvis in P3 and with plenty of work to do.

Race 2 was an even closer start than Race 1 with the Swifts heading into turn 1 three wide and as they sorted themselves out Jarvis and Ward cleared out from the pack with Sayers and Murphy heading the chase pack. Jarvis managed a late breaking move going into Dandenong road and came through turns 10 & 11 in the lead with Ward giving no quarter.

An off track excursion relegated Murphy back to P5 and it looked like Jarvis was going to finish race 2 on equal points with Murphy until Ward saw a chance on the inside of turn 12 and dove into the gap Jarvis had left only to grab the ripple strip on the inside of the turn and flip his Swift 4 times. Once again the strength of these little dynamos was on display as Ward jumped straight out of the car.

The incident caused some serious aversion tactics from the other racers and in the wash down Jarvis took race 2 from Sayers with Murphy managing third and protecting his narrowing lead in the series.

Race three proved the decider with the race coming down to the wire and the national series decided on the last lap of the last race of the year. A second place by Jarvis behind Sayers and in front of Murphy gave him the series title by one point and left Murphy rueing his lost chances of tying up the title in race 1 or race 2.