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Jun 18, 2013

RECORD V8 FIELD SET FOR WINTON SHANNONS NATIONALS

ROUND 4 of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals is set to be a record breaker when the series arrives at Winton Motor Raceway, on the June 21-23 weekend.

A record 22 car field is set for the third round of the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series this weekend, the series continuing to grow in popularity thanks to an influx of new cars and new drivers this year.

Should the full field start the opening race at Winton at the weekend the series will eclipse the previous record field (21) set at Sydney Motorsport Park’s season opener in March this year.

Newcomers to the series include Sydney driver Ryan Simpson who will drive the first ex-Triple Eight Race Engineering car to race in the series.

The Falcon was raced by Craig Lowndes during the 2008 V8 Supercars championship before twice finishing second in the V8s Development Series, driven by James Moffat and Tim Blanchard, respectively.

Simpson, who is also racing a Mitsubishi Lancer with Dylan Thomas in this year’s Australian Manufacturers Championship at Shannons Nationals rounds, will race the car for the remainder of the year.

Meanwhile, V8 Supercars Development series regular Sam Walter will make his Kumho series return in a VZ Commodore recently purchased by series frontrunner, Jim Pollicina.

Walter’s VZ Holden was the ex-Jason Richards Commodore famously rolled at Queensland Raceway in 2005, before finishing third at the Sandown 500 the same year. It also went on to finish second at the Bathurst 1000 the same year, with future champion Jamie Whincup co-driving.

Walter is a former race winner in the Kumho Series but will need to beat a strong field if he wants to win again next weekend.

Two different round winners have featured in the two rounds so far, whilst the series leader, Shea Davies, is yet to stand on the top step of a round podium.

Davies (Ford Falcon) leads the Kumho series by just one point over Mallala winner, Terry Wyhoon.

West Australian ace Matthew Hansen broke through for his first race win at Mallala and sits third in the standings, whilst series veterans Chris Smerdon and Tony Evangelou round out the top five in the standings.

All feature on the strong Winton entry list that includes a host of drivers to have featured at the pointy end of the field in recent years.

Round four of the Shannons Nationals features the ‘marquee’ Australian Saloon Car Series round of the year, and several drivers from the six-cylinder Holden-v-Ford category feature on the Kumho series entry list.

As well as former Saloon Car ace Evangelou and last years’ Saloon Car rookie of the year, Josh Kean, speedy South Australian Shawn Jaimeson (VZ Holden Commodore) and Kumho series rookie Matthew Palmer will front at Winton.

Palmer recently purchased an ex-Brad Jones Racing BA Ford Falcon to race in the series and will make his debut on home turf.

As opposed to the ‘main game’ where Holdens hold the numerical advantage, 14 Fords will race 10 Commodores at Winton next week.

Whilst the third round of the Kumho V8’s are likely to be the highest profile category at Winton, there will be plenty of other great racing on offer that weekend as well.

A strong 24-car entry has been received for the second round of the Dial before You Dig Australian Saloon Car Series, the first to feature an ‘endurance’ format.

The Saloon Cars will tackle a unique two-race format at the tight and twisty Victorian circuit, tackling two, 30-lap races – one on each day.

The top ten qualifiers will also get their own top-10 shootout on Saturday afternoon to help set the grid.

The Winton event will also feature round three of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Presented by Pirelli, plus the third round of the Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series which will feature a feisty 10-car grid this weekend.

Practice, qualifying and the first races will be held on Saturday, June 22nd, with the feature races held on Sunday – with racing commencing at 10:30am.

Sunday’s action will be broadcast live via the Shannons Nationals unique ‘Nationals TV’ FREE live streaming service, via www.thenationals.com.au