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Mar 29, 2015

MARSHALLS CLAIM BACK TO BACK SANDOWN 3 HOUR CLASSIC VICTORIES

*All results are provisional pending steward’s enquiries

Robert and Shane Marshall have claimed a second consecutive Sandown 3 Hour Classic victory today in the Class A #22 Melbourne Performance Centre Mitsubishi Evo 10.

The race ended under red flag conditions, with a significant response required from track and fire officials for an aflame Morcomm/Poll Performance HSV GTS VF on turn 9. Driver Geoff Emery was unhurt in the incident.

Second outright was the Alphera Financial Services BMW1M of Beric Lynton and Craig Baird, ahead of the #54 Donut King BMW1M of Tony Alford and Peter Leemhuis; ahead of the Class B winners #19 Sherrin Rentals Racing BMW135i.

Rounding out the top five on the road and taking the Class C win was the Jake Camilleri/Scott Nicholas Grand Prix Mazda supported Mazda 3 MPS, who took the class lead from the #34 Australian Auto Wreckers Ford Falcon FG-XR6T of George Karadimas and Geoff Russell in the dying stages of the race, with the Falcon having lead the class for the majority of the race after early issues for the Camilleri/Nicholas entry. First for Class D was the Pedders Racing entry of Grant Phillips and Andrew Turpie, who overcame major gearbox issues earlier in the weekend to finish eighth on the road.

Full provisional race results can be viewed athttp://racing.natsoft.com.au/636801336/object_552790.89M/Result?57All results are provisional pending the outcome of steward enquiries.

In true endurance style the Sandown 3 Hour Classic was not short of drama from start to finish.

Jim Pollicina lead early in the Mocomm/Poll Performance HSV GTS VF, but a dropped water hose saw Pollicina forced to bring the entry he was sharing with Emery into the pits for repairs, seeing them lose laps on the field.

Lynton in the Alphera Financial Services BMW1M then took the lead, becoming monstered leading up to the one hour mark by the #18 Sherrin Rentals Racing BMW 135i of Iain and Grant Sherrin, with Iain taking the race lead just before the one hour mark.

It was to be short lived however, with Iain building a considerable gap before the brake pedal locked up sending the #18 spinning into the gravel at Dandenong Corner. That wasn’t the end of the drama for that entry either – after being retrieved under safety car conditions, the car re-joined and then returned for a driver change, but on the restart would become stranded on the apex of turn four with a blown fuel pump fuse, causing another safety car.

Amid this confusion, Lynton lead the way for the field before later the race lead would go to last year’s winners Shane and Robert Marshall in the Melbourne Performance Centre Mitsubishi Evo X. Despite valiant late-race efforts by Craig Baird in the Lynton BMW, the Marshalls would go on to take the victory.

Baird’s progress was impeded with just thirty minutes to go with the main cooling chute for the BMW blocked by some debris. That debris would stay in place until the 15 minute remaining mark when the team brought the car in to remove the debris after failed efforts by Baird to ‘rub’ the debris off against the back bumper of the Sherrin Rental entries, with that action contributing to a loose rear bumper on the #19 Sherrin entry which saw it come to the attention of race control with 23 minutes to go. With 18 minutes to go the sister #18 car would attempt to dislodge the bumper for their team-mates, but the #19 would be brought into the pits for its removal, dropping them from third to fourth in the standings with 18 minutes to go.

Just laps earlier, the #18 Sherrin Rentals entry had again been drawing gasps, coming very close to grief sliding and slipping across the track across a number of corners. The entry had been setting the fastest laps of the field at various junctures after fixing the fuse issues, with the entry ultimately crossing the line seventh outright and second in Class B.

More drama was soon on its way, with the HSV with Geoff Emery at the wheel coming to a stop on the approach to turn nine aflame just minutes later, eventually leading to the race being red flagged.

The next round of the Amchamps will be held at Phillip Island across 22-24 May 2015. For full event information, please go to www.amchamp.com.au

All results are provisional and subject to steward’s enquiries.