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Nov 17, 2013

NATIONALS SEASON CONCLUDES AT SUPER SANDOWN



THE FINAL round of the 2013 Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals lived up to its ‘Super Sandown’ promotional tag, with a massive day of competition wrapping up Australia’s key national-level motorsport series for the season.

Six national categories competed in warm conditions with major titles decided across a series of eventful races.

The Kumho V8 Touring Cars (Full Report – Click Here) and Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship (Click Here) were arguably the headline acts, Ryan Simpson (V8’s) and Tim Macrow (Formula 3) doing the business the respective final rounds for the touring cars and open wheelers.

However there were big stories in the remaining four categories as championships were decided – in the case of the Sports Sedans and Swifts, in the final races of the year.

Bruce Banks’ fairytale came true in the Kerrick Australian Sports Sedan Series, the Tasmanian Driver making good on others generosity to edge out seven-time Sports Sedan Champion – and round winner – Tony Ricciardello by just seven points.

Banks’ original RX-7 was withdrawn yesterday, the points leader hopping into Dean Camm’s Corvette to complete the round with the permission of race officials and the entire field – including his key title rivals.

Ricciardello did everything he could to steal the title but Banks’ consistency was enough to deliver him his maiden Sports Sedan championship.

Shane Bradford finished third in the championship and just 15 points behind Banks in one of the closest 1-2-3 title results in Sports Sedan history.

Luke Fraser won a thrilling Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series today, edging out Ben Grice after winning the round this weekend.

Grice and Fraser entered the round tied on points but Fraser did enough to seal the title. Callan Sayers and Allan Jarvis tied for second overall this weekend, though the Shannons Nationals scholarship winner Sayers scored second for the weekend on countback.

Grice was forced to pit lane earlier in the one-hour season finale with loose rear bodywork on his Finance Ezi Swift, but was comfortably second in the championship.

Ford driver Travis Sharpe sealed the coveted second position overall in the Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car Series, the title for ‘best of the rest’ behind dominant two-time champion Simon Tabinor hotly contested this weekend.

Sharpe edged out Lindsay Kearns, Gavin Ross and Harley Phelan for the coveted second position in the overall standings, while Travis Lindorff won the round by one point over Ross and Nowland.

A late Safety Car injected life into the three-hour Australian Manufacturers Championship finale, turning a strategy-filled endurance race into a one-hour sprint between a pair of Mitsubishi’s.

The caution with exactly one hour to go saw the leading Rob & Shane Marshall Mitsubishi brought back to the pack, setting up a race to the line over the final hour between it and the Garry Holt / Nathan Morcom Eastern Creek Karts Entry.

With Morcom behind the wheel, the championship-winning Mitsubishi worked his way past Marshall to take the lead within the closing hour, eventually pulling away to win the final AMChamps race of the year by more than 20 seconds.

The Father and Son Marshall team finished second with a strong run from the Michael Benton / John Faulkner FPV GT Falcon scoring getting them home on the podium – and first in Class B.

There were plenty of off-track activities today to compliment the on-track excitement, more than 50 examples of current and old-school Toyota 86 models from the 86 Club of Victoria on display throughout the day.

The display included the ex-John Faulkner under two-litre AE86 Racer and the current Pedders Racing 86 that competes in the Australian Manufacturers Championship.

The vehicles took in two demonstration laps of Sandown this morning before holding pride of place in the paddock for the remainder of the day.

The Shannons Nationals Grand Finale at Sandown capped off a strong season of growth from the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals, a packed 2014 calendar set to make the series even stronger.

More categories will join the series, including the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia and Australian Sports Racer Series, while every category competing this year will return for more.

The Nationals will commence their 2014 calendar back at Sandown next March 28-30.