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Nov 16, 2013

SPIRIT OF THE SPORT ON SHOW AT SHANNONS NATIONALS

A REMARKABLE SPORTING gesture from his title rivals driver may allow Victorian driver Bruce Banks to take an incredible championship victory in the Kerrick Sports Sedan national series this year.

After his own car failed in qualifying, series leader Banks was allowed to switch from his own Mazda RX-7 into Dean Camm’s Chevrolet Corvette for today’s opening Sports Sedan race at Sandown, held as part of the grand finale’ of the 2013 Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals.

Regulations stipulate that competitors cannot change cars after qualifying without approval from race officials and the remainder of the competitors in the field.

Once Camm offered to donate his car, the remainder of the Kerrick Series field – including Banks’ close title rivals Shane Bradford and Tony Ricciardello – immediately signed off on the move allowing him to take the starter.

He finished fifth in the eleven-lap Sports Sedan opener allowed him to remain at the pointy end of the championship standings ahead of tomorrow’s two races.

Ricciardello won the race after an epic opening lap battle with Darren Hossack that saw the long-time rivals side-by-side for much of Sandown’s 3.1km. The Alfa-Chev driver would eventually drive away to win comfortably ahead of the Audi and Bradford’s Chev Camaro.

With two races remaining on Sunday, Banks (441 points) leads Bradford (423) and Ricciardello (413) in the closest Kerrick series title fight in years.

Ryan Simpson continued his recent domination of the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series today, leading lights-to-flag to win the opening race of the final round ahead of Matt White and Shae Davies.

Davies, however, was perhaps the happiest of the trio with his solid points haul enough to officially crown him the V8 Touring Cars champion with two races remaining tomorrow.

Davies ran second early in the race however ran wide and was passed by White, though he was able to remain third – in front of class rookie Jack LeBrocq – to do enough to seal the title.

LeBrocq finished fourth and Matt Hansen fifth in a race interrupted by an early Safety Car when Dean Kovacevich crashed his VZ Commodore just before turn two on the opening lap.

The battle for the Hi-Tec Oils Australian Suzuki Swift Racing Series will go down to the wire in the final race of the year tomorrow after a dramatic sprint race this afternoon.

Allan Jarvis won the race after title rivals Luke Fraser and Ben Grice were both penalised 5 seconds for jumping the start.

The pair were still able to finish second and third, respectively, however it means Fraser now leads the series by eight points ahead of the one-hour decider on Sunday afternoon.

A drama-filled first race in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship allowed Queensland driver John Magro to keep his title hopes alive, after he charged from fifth to first in the open wheelers 12-lap sprint today.

Tim Macrow finished second and rookie Simon Hodge third in a race that saw both front row qualifiers strike drama; Polesitter Nick Foster spun out of the race mid way through and second-place qualifier Ben Gersekowski endured clutch issues that saw him stall on the line.

Magro leads Macrow by 31 points ahead of tomorrow’s two races, with 34 points up for grabs. Queenslander Arrie Maree gave Gilmour Racing their second National Class title today as he sealed the F3 ‘race within a race’.

Travis Lindorff and Gavin Ross diced for much of today’s Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car Series race, Lindorff coming out on top in the battle of the Victorian drivers with Harley Phelan finishing third.

The results position Phelan strongly to score second in the overall series standings ahead of the two final races of the season tomorrow.

Stuart Kostera’s return to the CXC Global Mitsubishi Lancer he regularly shares with Dylan Thomas reaped rewards today as the pair qualified on pole for the Australian Manufacturers Championship three-hour race to be held tomorrow afternoon.

The Blue Mitsubishi was the only car to lap under the 1m20-second barrier today to secure the top spot for tomorrow’s enduro.

Shane Marshall was close behind to snare second place, while championship leader Garry Holt and Nathan Morcom made it a Mitsubishi 1-2-3 by scoring third. Holt is essentially secured at the top of the standings and need only start tomorrow to make it official.

A starring performance came from former top V8 Supercars privateer, John Faulkner.

Teaming with Michael Benton in a Falcon GT, he secured the fourth spot on the grid with a time not too far behind the dominant Mitsubishi’s. Peter O’Donnell and Garry Menell will line up fifth in their BMW 335i.

The Shannons Nationals concludes tomorrow with all the action to be broadcast live via the series live and free streaming service on www.thenationals.com.au

Tickets are available at the gate for $25 with kids under 14 admitted free. Tickets include access to the main grandstand, pit / paddock area and the pit building roof.

ENDS