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Nov 15, 2013

LEBROCQ ON THE PACE EARLY IN V8 DEBUT

IT DIDN’T take long for Jack LeBrocq to come to grips with the V8 Touring Car he is driving during this weekend’s Shannons Nationals Grand Finale’ at Sandown Raceway.

The Erebus Academy-sponsored driver is making his Kumho V8 Debut this weekend driving a BA Falcon for Matt White and after having already driven a GT Mercedes Benz and a Dallara Formula 3 car this season, the young Victorian was quickly on the pace.

He topped the first two practice sessions today and finished fourth in the final session when all of the series regulars came out to play.

Ryan Simpson topped the charts today, 0.6s faster than championship leader Shae Davies and Matt Hansen in his ex-HRT Commodore.

The Kumho V8’s are part of a massive program at Sandown this weekend as the Shannons Nationals takes to the inner Melbourne circuit for the final round of some of the top National series in Australia.

LeBrocq has already raced at Nationals rounds this year in a Formula 3 car and the GT Mercedes but this weekend is his first true test behind the wheel of the ex-V8 Supercar.

“It was a really good day and nice to finally get some miles in one of these cars. Today was my first full day behind the wheel of one of them, so it was good to get the experience,” LeBrocq said.

“I’m learning a lot and working on the data and we’ll keep chipping away with it over the weekend. The guys who have been running these cars all year and doing all the testing are our benchmark this weekend, so we want to run at the front.

“We’re jumping into the deep end, but I’m sure we’ll get through.”

LeBrocq says the driving experience was vastly different to the cars he’s been behind the wheel of this year.

“It’s the first time I’ve used lots of kerbs! It’s pretty good fun actually, but it’s been a learning process going from lots of grip to not nearly as much as the other cars.”

The Kumho V8’s take to the track for qualifying and their first 10-lap race tomorrow before a further two races will be held on Sunday.

Nick Foster topped practice for round seven of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship today, F3 rookie Simon Hodge finishing third in practice one and just 0.06s behind Foster in the second, making his mark early as one to watch this weekend.

Tim Macrow, Gilmour Racing’s Ben Gersekowski and John Magro featured in a tightly packed top five, little more than 0.5 seconds splitting the main contenders across the two sessions today.

Garry Holt and Nathan Morcom topped practice in the Australian Manufacturers Championship as the Sydney pairing looks to cap off a dominant season in style during this weekend’s three-hour season finale’.

Holt said his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X was ‘better than ever’ today in an ominous threat to his nearest rivals.

There was drama down in the BMW camp as both 1Ms struck engine dramas today, and are facing a race against time to be ready for the weekend – if they can at all.

Ben Grice and Luke Fraser were almost as close in practice for the Australian Swift Racing Series as they are in points for the championship today, the pair (who are tied on points for the lead in the series) split by just 0.06s in today’s stand-alone session.

An 11-car Swift field features several of Australia’s leading Motoring Journalists, including Josh Dowling, Toby Hagon and Michael Sinclair, this weekend amongst the regular contenders.

The Swifts tackle an 8-lap sprint tomorrow before combining with the AMChamps field on Sunday for a one-hour race within the three-hour enduro.

Tony Ricciardello was comfortably quickest in practice for the Kerrick Sports Sedan series today, though not all runners elected to run timing transporters in today’s unofficial sessions.

Local Holden ace Gavin Ross topped all three practice sessions in the Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car Series, driving his VT Commodore.

The Saloon Car field is wide open with two-time champion Simon Tabinor stepping into the Kumho V8 Series for the first time this weekend.

Saturday action commences at 9:15am tomorrow morning with several practice and qualifying sessions contested before racing gets underway just after 2pm.

The Saloon Cars, V8 Touring Cars, Formula 3, Sports Sedans and Swifts all have races tomorrow.

Tickets are available at the gate tomorrow for just $15 with kids under 14 admitted free – with pit / paddock and grandstand access included in the price.