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Aug 2, 2013

PRACTICE UNDERWAY FOR QUEENSLAND BLOCKBUSTER

RYAN SIMPSON laid down an impressive benchmark in opening practice for the Kumho V8 Touring Car series round this weekend, as practice for round five of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals got underway at Queensland Raceway today.

The Kumho V8’s were one of eight national categories that practiced today ahead of two massive days of racing scheduled for this weekend – one of the biggest Shannons Nationals rounds ever staged.

Fine and warm conditions greeted competitors today and are expected to remain consistent all weekend – the action on track as warm as the temperature.

Simpson, in just his second ever V8 start, banged in a 1m12.76s lap late in today’s 20-minute official session and lapped a full second faster than former V8 Supercars Development Series regular, Matt White.

White was a last minute call-up for this weekend’s round after his teams’ original driver was forced to the sidelines at short notice. He was quicker than DVS regular Morgan Haber and V8TC points’ leader, Shae Davies.

Behind Simpson, just one second covered second-placed White to 9th placed Terry Whyoon, indicating another competitive weekend is in store for the Kumho series.

Garry Holt and Ryan McLeod paced practice for the Australian Manufacturers Championship ‘Fight In the Night’, their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X just 0.2s quicker than Queenslander Beric Lynton’s BMW 1M.

In a promising sign for fans of V8 production car fans, V8 Ute series regular Jeremy Gray was 6th in the Robinson Racing FPV GT Falcon, Michael Benton just two places further back in his similar Ford.

The AMChamps cars will tackle twin 200-km races this weekend; tomorrow’s to be held under lights.

Local hope Roger Lago topped both Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli practice sessions today, driving his stunning Lamborghini Gallardo LP560.

The V10-powered Italian supercar edged out Greg Murphy in the opening session, the Bathurst champion returning to the Trofeo Motorsport Corvette for the first time since Bathurst in February.

Defending champion Klark Quinn came closest to Lago in the second session, driving his Porsche GT3-R – another on home turf this weekend. John Bowe (Ferrari) and Tony Quinn (Aston Martin Vantage GT3) also showed well in practice.

The Australian GT Championship runners will tackle three, 40-minute races this weekend in a departure from their regular twin one-hour format.

Series leader Tim Macrow leads the way after practice for the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship was contested today across two, 30-minute sessions.

The Team BRM driver topped his teammate, Nick Foster, in both sessions at a circuit where he has been immensely successful in the past – winning three of his last four races at the Ipswich circuit.

Alfa Romeo driver Tony Ricciardello edged out his bitter rival, Darren Hossack, across two Kerrick Sports Sedans series practice sessions today – the thundering V8’s resuming their title battle for the first time since May this year.

The pair was split by less than one second, though last year’s pole man, Kerry Baily, elected to run Friday’s unofficial sessions without a timing transponder in his Aston Martin – ensuring that his pace remains unknown until tomorrow.

Michael Almond was half-a-second quicker than championship leader Richard Muscat in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli practice today, Peter Fitzgerald third and the most recent round winner – Phil Woodbury – fourth.

Ben Grice edged Luke Fraser by less than one-tenth of a second in practice for the Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series today, Callan Sayers and Allan Jarvis third and fourth, respectively.

Locals dominated practice in the Dial before You Dig Australian Saloon Cars series practice – though several drivers from South of the Border will not arrive until tomorrow.

Kane Baxter-Smith topped both sessions today, with Craig Campbell and Lindsay Kearns sharing second and third across the two sessions, respectively.

Action commences early tomorrow morning – qualifying sessions to be held from 8:30AM with racing to commence at 2:15pm and run into the night.