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Mar 22, 2013

THUNDERING FIRST ROUND AT SMP

THE KERRICK AUSTRALIAN SPORTS SEDAN SERIES is set for a thundering 2013 season opening round this weekend as part of the Shannons Nationals at Sydney Motorsport Park with 17 high powered monsters set to do battle.

At the wheel of his Chev-powered Aston Martin, Queensland-based Tasmanian Kerry Baily will be defending the title he won last year and is expecting it to be a lot tougher tussle than and that arch rivals West Australia’s Tony Ricciardello (Alfa/Chev) and Victorian Darren Hossack (Audi/Chev) will kick off their seasons with a lot more luck than they had last year.

At the 2012 season opener both had to revert to other cars after each had suffered failures with their main championship contenders. This allowed Baily to steal a handy series lead which he held throughout the five-round series. But both will be primed to not only take on Baily but to continue their own long-time rivalry.

Also joining the line-up of home-grown Sports Sedans intermingled with the US-based Trans Am cars are the new Ford Mustang of Queenslander Phil Crompton, also from north of the border, Shane Bradford in his 2012 TA class-winning Chev Camaro, the Dodge-powered Saab of Anthony Cox (Qld), Victorian Daniel Tamasi’s Calibra/Chev and the Jaguar-based winged beast of NSW’s Dameon Jamison.

There are a couple of Chev-powered Holden Monaros in the field for Colin Smith (Qld) and Michael Robinson (Vic), the Chev Corvettes of Dean Camm (Vic) and Charlie Senese (Vic), Queensland’s Bob McLoughlin in his Commodore/Chev and Bruce Banks all the way from Tasmania.

Former Bathurst winner Peter McLeod makes his national series debut in a Mazda RX7. He shared victory on at Bathurst in 1987 with the late Peter Brock and David Parsons in a Holden Commodore, but prior to that had a long association racing the Mazda brand.

Jeff Barnes was to retire his Pontiac Trans Am at the end of the last season, but as a tribute to the passing of his friend and rival, Des Wall, will return and carry his #38 race number. “It was Des’ wish that (son) David or I use his number,” Barnes said. “He gave me his steering wheel and said he wanted me to use it, and I have also had my helmet painted as his was.”

The field is predominately V8 powered where Aussie Sports Sedans allow more freedoms than any other tin top category in the country. They have been competing nationally since 1975, and can number among its winners such names as Allan Moffat, Frank Gardner, Allan Grice, Tony Edmondson and Allan Jones. The somewhat different Trans Am cars run alongside Sports Sedans, are of similar performance but originated in the United States, are built differently and have varying rules.

The Kerrick Sports Sedans are set to hit the circuit for two 20-minute qualifying sessions on Saturday at 11:00am and 1:50pm, leading up to a 10-lap races on Sunday scheduled for 9:40am, 12:25pm and 3:05pm.

For all the latest news, information, vision and contacts regarding the 2013 Kerrick Australian Sports Sedan Series visit the www.sportssedans.com.au and www.thenationals.com.au websites. Watch live over the internet on Sunday at http://thenationals.com.au/index.php?page=nationals-tv or catch up with all the action on SBS Speedweek and Foxtel’s Speed in the coming weeks