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Jun 19, 2013

2013 AUSTRALIAN SALOON CAR SERIES - Round Three Preview - Winton Raceway

EXTENDED RACE LENGTHS and compulsory pitstops do not happen in the Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car Series, but this weekend the round five combatants at Winton Raceway will have to adopt a different mindset and strategy.

Generally the traditional Aussie six cylinder battle between Fords and Holdens consists of three sprint races of around 20 minutes in duration, but this weekend at the rural Victorian race track, they will compete over two 30-lap, or around 45-minute, races.

Patience will be a virtual too. In each race there will be a pitstop of a specified minimum length and nothing to be done to the car. So the driver will sit in his vehicle and wait out the period. “For our first attempt at this type of format, we didn’t want to make it too complicated or risky,” said category chief Les Morrall.

What it will do is introduce a strategic play into the races, especially for those in traffic when the pit window opens. Each car will start with a race tape strip stuck on it, which will be removed at the stop.

This round will have another thrilling element as well. After qualifying which is scheduled to start at 11:15pm on Saturday, a Top Ten Shootout will take place at 1:10pm before the first of two mini endurance races begins at 3:05pm. The second race, on Sunday, begins at 2:40pm.

There are 24 Fords and Holdens racing this weekend, made up of 16 Falcon AUs, 7 Commodore VTs and one older VN. Five West Australians are making the long across the continent and will be joined by three Queenslanders, five New South Welshmen and three South Australians to take on eight local Victorians.

Reigning title holder Simon Tabinor (Eurostar Diesels Commodore) has a handy lead after two rounds but at the last outing was soundly beaten by Wayne King (Morphett Vale Garage Commodore). Lindsay Kearns (Scotts Rod Exhaust Falcon) heads the Ford brigade, third ahead of the local Commodores of Harley Phelan and Gavin Ross.

There will be other strong pretenders including Andrew Nowland (Qld), Luke Westall (NSW), Travis Sharpe (WA), Deni Razmovski (WA) and Kane Baxter-Smith numbering up on the Ford side while in Holden drivers include Craig Campbell (Qld) and Garry Hills (WA).