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Oct 16, 2014

KUMHO V8 TITLE FIGHT HEADS TO WAKEFIELD PARK

Goulburn circuit to host first V8 Touring Car round in since 2011 …

THE Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series returns to Wakefield Park this weekend for the first time in three and a half years – and there’s a tight fight raging.

Just three points separates dominant series leader Ryan Simpson and rookie Justin Ruggier after the last round at Phillip Island where Simpson was not permitted to take part in the last race by track officials and Ruggier went on to claim his maiden race win.

Ruggier won the Wakefield 300 endurance race back in March and his Walkinshaw Racing-built VZ Commodore also has winning form at Wakefield Park given it won the V8 Supercar Development Series round there in 2007 in the hands of Tony D’Alberto.

"It’s a car with great history, and I’ve done more laps at Wakefield Park than any other track the Kumho Series has visited this year,” Ruggier said.

“It’s only my first year in the series, so to be within three points of the lead is a great position, especially up against someone like Ryan who has achieved so much in so many forms of motorsport.”

Ruggier’s Eggleston Motorsport team is on a high after winning the 250-kilometre mini-endurance V8 Development Series race at Bathurst with Paul Dumbrell and, in doing so, clinching its first DVS championship.

A field of eight cars has entered for this weekend’s Kumho Series round, including the return of Drew Russell in the second STR Truck Bodies Falcon alongside team owner/driver Matt Palmer.

Russell finished on the podium in his Kumho Series debut at Queensland Raceway and has plenty of experience at Wakefield Park from his time testing and racing there in the DVS.

Steve Briffa’s Poco Racing Commodore will return to action at Wakefield Park along with Kumho Series regulars John Vergotis and Matt Chahda.

Temora’s Brendan Strong is also entered for this weekend’s round in his ex-Lansvale Commodore.

The young gun was due to make his Kumho Series debut at Queensland Raceway in August, however engine problems during mid-week testing in the lead-up forced him to withdraw.

Official practice on Saturday starts at 9.50am with qualifying at 12.45pm and Race 1 at 3.10pm over 16 laps.

Online streaming coverage can be viewed on Sunday for the final two races at www.thenationals.com.au with a 9.40am warm up session, Race 2 at 10.45am (16 laps) and Race 3 at 2.35pm (22 laps).