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Sep 19, 2013

LOOKING TO BE TOP DOG AGAIN

CURRENT DIAL BEFORE YOU DIG Australian Saloon Car Series top dog Simon Tabinor could make it back-to-back titles this weekend when he and his Eurostar Diesels Holden Commodore VT take on a big field in round five at Phillip Island in Victoria.

The British-born Victorian has a 235-point advantage going into the penultimate round and if the margin is more than 180 at the end of the big Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals program that runs from September 20 to 22, than he cannot be beaten for his second title.

But returning after missing the last round will be Wayne King whose Morphett Vale Commodore has been almost unbeatable in previous outings. The South Australian will be the favoured to take the round honours although the Victorian Holdens of Gavin Ross, Travis Lindorff and Harley Phelan will have the local knowledge to be in the mix. Making the journey across the nation will be West Australia’s Garry Hills while Craig Campbell from Queensland, will also field competitive Commodores.

Overall though, the Holdens will be well outnumbered by the roll-up of Ford Falcon AUs. The West Australian Travis Sharpe (Tyre Pro AU) who is currently lying second in the series, heads up the Blue Oval contingent and will be ably backed up by local Andy Nowland (LA Auto Services AU), and Queenslanders Lindsay Kearns and Kane Baxter-Smith.

Of the 28 entries, there will be 16 Fords competing against 12 Holdens. Half the field (14) are Victorian while there will be six Queenslanders, four West Australians, three from New South Wales and a lone South Australian.

The Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car Series will have three private practice sessions on Friday September 20 at 9:05am, 11:15am and 1.25pm, two qualifying sessions on Saturday September 21 at 9:10am and 12:25am and followed by three eight-lap races on Sunday September 22 scheduled for 9:25am, 12:50pm and 3:35pm.

Sunday’s action can be seen and heard live on the link from the www.thenationals.com.au, and later on SBS’ Speedweek and Fox’s Speed at times to be confirmed. More information and updates on the Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Cars are available at www.salooncars.net.au while complete details on the Shannons Nationals and all its categories can be viewed on www.thenationals.com.au.

The Australian Saloon Car Company (TASCCO) is a foundation member of the CAMS National Racing Championship, one of the core categories (together with Production Cars, Australian Formula 3 and Commodore Cup) in partnership with CAMS that now make up the Shannons Nationals.

Initially developed to overtake the popular HQ Holden category through the CAMS’ ‘White Paper’, the Saloon Car category was conceived utilising six cylinder Ford Falcon EA to EB, and Holden Commodore VN to VP models – and orchestrated to produce close racing and inter-marque rivalry.

Ultimately later-model AU Falcon and VT Commodore models became the mainstay of the category with the older models back filling at National level as well as providing the backbone of a strong state (TASSCO Challenge) series, particularly in West Australia, Victoria and Queensland.

The first full serious year was 2002 which Bruce Heinrich won in a Ford Falcon EA. He followed that up with another win the next year before Clint Harvey won in 2004, driving a Holden Commodore VN. Harvey then switched to a Ford but has not been able to repeat the feat to date. In fact Heinrich reclaimed his mantle as ‘the king of the saloons’ by winning every year since, but faced his biggest test in 2008 with the switch to a Holden Commodore.

After Steve Kwiatkowski won that year, the Commodores have dominated since with Shawn Jameson (2009), Tim Rowse (2011) and Simon Tabinor most recently, collecting titles. Matt Lovell broke back for Ford in 2011.

AUSTRALIAN SALOON CAR SERIES ROUND FIVE ENTRY LIST

NO.

ENTRANT

DRIVER

VEHICLE

COLOUR

1

Eurostar Diesels

Simon Tabinor (Vic)

Holden Commodore VT

White/Yellow

4

Auddino First National

Antonio Auddino (WA)

Ford Falcon AU

White

5

LA Auto Services

Andrew Nowland (Vic)

Ford Falcon AU

Blue/White

6

Morphett Vale Garage

Wayne King (SA)

Holden Commodore VT

Red

8

PJT Accountants

Wayne Patten (Qld)

Holden Commodore VT

White/Green

9

Silkgate Group

Ian Chivas (NSW)

Ford Falcon AU

Blue/Yellow

11

Laurie Ogle Motors

Grant Ogle (Vic)

Ford Falcon EA

White

13

Forklift Clearance Centre

Steve Yates (Vic)

Ford Falcon AU

Black

16

Kleenduct Australia P/L

Harley Phelan (Vic)

Holden Commodore VT

Purple

23

Tyre Pro Motorsport

Travis Sharpe (WA)

Ford Falcon AU

White/Orange

33

Forklift Clearance Centre

Greg Murcott (Vic)

Ford Falcon AU

Black

36

Nantom

Leon Fletcher (Qld)

Holden Commodore VT

Red/Grey

38

Blackwell Race Engines

Gavin Ross (Vic)

Holden Commodore VT

Green

39

The Racing Group

Ryan Millier (Vic)

Ford Falcon AU

White/Green

41

Dial Before You Dig

Mark Primmer (NSW)

Ford Falcon AU

Blue/Red

42

Dial Before You Dig

Cameron Moss (NSW)

Ford Falcon AU

Blue/Red

44

Isuzu

Gary Beggs (Qld)

Holden Commodore VT

Black

46

Sopranos Pizza Bar

Shaun Woodhouse (Vic)

Holden Commodore VT

Black

51

Casey Accident Repairs

Travis Lindorff (Vic)

Holden Commodore VT

White

55

Millenium Screens

Deni Razmovski (WA)

Ford Falcon AU

Black/Silver

56

Baxter Electrical

Kane Baxter-Smith (Qld)

Ford Falcon AU

Blue/Black

57

Campbells Motorsport

Craig Campbell (Qld)

Holden Commodore VT

Red

59

Sign Oz

Bradley Neilson (Vic)

Ford Falcon AU

White

66

Bradys Truck & Auto

Aarron Paterson (Vic)

Holden Commodore VN

Multi

67

Scotts Rods Exhausts

Lindsay Kearns (Qld)

Ford Falcon AU

White

71

Betta Calibrations

Brett Campbell (Vic)

Ford Falcon AU

Black/Purple

76

Hills Haulage/Adlam Trans

Garry Hills (WA)

Holden Commodore VT

Black/Silver

77

Water Jet Solutions

Daniel Beaven (Vic)

Ford Falcon AU

White

AUSTRALIAN SALOON CAR SERIES OUTRIGHT POINTS (after four rounds)

Simon Tabinor 755, Travis Sharpe 520, Harley Phelan 518, Lindsay Kearns 495, Craig Campbell 469, Gavin Ross 426, Wayne King 410, Ian Chivas 391, Mark Primmer 342, Deni Razmovski 276, Brett Campbell 271, Kane Baxter-Smith 270, Cameron Moss 246, Tony McKenzie 240, Bradley Moss 215, Luke Westall 188, Andrew Nowland 188, Robert Lonie 167, Shaun Woodhouse 166, Brian Hine 165, Mark Bryan 163, Keven Stoopman 155, Wayne Patten 141, Greg Murcott 114, Tony James 106, Gary Beggs 103, David Rogers 100, Reginald Ralph 99, Matthew Palmer 98, Kelli Stephens 94, Naomi Maltby 87, Ryan Millier 80, Coleby Cowham 61, Dean Kelland 54, Antonio Auddino 54, Frank Panizza 45, John Hanlon 44, Sam Milton 37.