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Mar 23, 2013

FIGHT LIVING UP TO THE HYPE IN SPORTS SEDAN QUALIFYING

ONCE AGAIN it has been hard to separate long-time rivals Tony Ricciardello and Darren Hossack in qualifying for the opening round of the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series today at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Ahead of three races tomorrow, the pair were split by just 0.08s in qualifying as round one of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Championships kicked off in warm and blustery conditions at the 3.9km circuit in Sydney’s West.

Six categories were in action today ahead of a full on-track program tomorrow, to be broadcast live via thenationals.com.au NATIONALS TV free live streaming service.

Spectators can purchase tickets at the gate for $20 and enjoy the trackside action.

Justin Garioch won his maiden Kumho V8 Touring Car series race this afternoon in an eventful 9-lap affair, whilst Neale Muston swept to yet another win in the Radical Australia Cup, taking the first of two 50-minute enduros this weekend.

However it was the battle for pole in the Kerrick Sports Sedans that lived up to pre-event hype, the Chev-powered Alfa Romeo and Audi lapping within fractions of each other in today’s Sports Sedan qualifying.

Defending champion Kerry Baily could only manage fourth, Shane Bradford (Camaro) knocking the Aston Martin off third place, in the second of two sessions contested.

Daniel Tamasi was only fractions behind the second-row qualifiers but all were travelling in the wake of the dominant champions that locked out the front row.

Showing that the level continues to rise in the series, Ricciardello’s pole lap was 1/100th under his existing (race) lap record.

The thundering Kerrick Series cars will tackle three races tomorrow in the opening encounter of a five-round national title.

Justin Garioch won his maiden Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Car series race today, leading home former series champion Tony Evangelou and Morgan Haber in the nine-lap affair.

In an eventful race, Jim Pollicina made a stunning start from eighth on the grid to lead into turn one, however he was quickly shuffled back down the field after contact early in the race with polesitter Shae Davies – who was slow away from the line.

Garioch passed Evangelou for the lead as the pair crossed the line to start their fourth lap, and was never headed from there – taking a strong win and pole for tomorrow’s second race.

Simon Tabinor began the defence of his Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car Series title today in style, taking the season opener with a comfortable win over Gavin Ross and Lindsay Kearns – that pair dicing for second for much of the race.

Tabinor had earlier scored pole position in qualifying as he seeks to become the first driver since Bruce Heinrich (2006-07) to take back to back title wins.

Neale Muston continued his domination of Radical Australia Cup races at Sydney Motorsport Park by taking out the first of two, 50-minute endurance races to be contested this weekend.

The Corse Motorsport driver – who won the series’ opener two weeks ago – didn’t lead the early laps but led the important ones at the end to beat home SR8-driving rival Ash Samadi by less than five seconds in a tense affair.

Liam Talbot was third and first of the four-cylinder powered SR3 models – the Radical Australia Cup featuring a two-class battle this year with the V8-powered SR8s joining the field.

Muston set a new ‘Grand Prix’ circuit lap record today at 1m28.2266s – 1.2 seconds quicker than the existing SR3 benchmark.

Russell Jamieson dominated the first or four races in the Rockpress Australian Superkart Championship, beating experienced rivals Gary Pegoraro and Warren McIlveen home by six seconds in a dominating display.

This weekend’s racing at Sydney Motorsport Park is the first of two Australian Championship rounds for the Superkarts this year – the second to be held with the Shannons Nationals at Phillip Island, in July.

Chris Barry beat home Stuart Shirvington in the first race in the NSW-based PRB Racing Series event this afternoon.

A full program of racing will take place tomorrow, admission just $20 at the gate for spectators.

The full program will be broadcast live via www.thenationals.com.au and the new Nationals TV free and live online streaming service.

Action commences at 9:10am and will include two races from the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car series and three from the Kerrick Sports Sedan National Series.