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Apr 1, 2016

DOUGLAS ON RECORD PACE AT SANDOWN

Taz Douglas has indicated that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the opening round of the Kumho Tyre Australian V8 Touring Cars at Sandown, by running close to the race lap record in practice today.

At the wheel of the THR Developments ex-Kelly Racing Holden Commodore VE, Douglas posted a time of 1m12. 1127 seconds in the second of three sessions.

(Jim Pollicina in his ex-Tasman VE Holden Commodore)

The beginning of the 2016 season has seen the landscape change in the series with the introduction of the later model VEs and Ford Falcon FGs, plus a host of new names looking to establish their careers - But it was the more seasoned drivers who headed the timesheets at the end of the day.

“The car feels really good and on old tyres they told me they would come on after four laps,” Douglas said.

“We were on for an 11.3 when the red flag came out.”

Bryce Fullwood was second fastest today, running the ex-Paul Morris Motorsport Commodore VE (called ‘Kulwicki’) he ran in the Development Series last year - but this time out of the Matt White Racing stable.

“It is my first time here and I am learning the car while MWR is learning the car,” Fullwood said after positing the second fastest time.

Third fastest went to three-time Australian karting champion Tyler Greenbury, debuting in an ex-Stone Brothers Racing Ford Falcon BF run by Image Racing.

“I feel really comfort with the team; the changes we have made to the car are working and the bar changes are making it quicker. We just didn’t get a good run in sessions two and three,” he said.

The next three were all the newer generation cars with Brad Jones Racing’s Joshua Smith (VE) fourth ahead of Jim Pollicina (VE) and Chris Smerdon (FG). Jason Heck (BF) was next ahead of Briffa, Historic Touring Car convert Michael Anderson (BF) and Sam Morabito (VE). Greenbury was fastest in session one, Douglas in the second and Fullwood in the third.

The second session had a red flag when Steve Briffa (Commodore VZ) bunkered initially at turn one. “I missed my braking maker by 32 metres,” he quipped.

Morabito brushed the tyres at Dandenong Road Corner later before he had another incident at the same corner that ultimately ended the final session. Brendon Strong failed to make the track at all in his VZ Commodore due to clutch dramas.

The Kumho V8 Touring Car series returns to the track tomorrow morning at 11:35am for qualifying, ahead of the first race of the season at 4:15pm.

WORDS: Garry O’Brien

COMBINED RESULTS - PRACTICE

1 Taz Douglas (Holden Commodore VE) 1:12.1127
2 Bryce Fullwood (Ford Falcon BF) 1:12.3759
3 Tyler Greenbury (Ford Falcon BF) 1:12.9624
4 Joshua Smith (Holden Commodore VE) 1:13.3473
5 Jim Pollicina (Holden Commodore VE) 1:13.4392
6 Chris Smerdon (Ford Falcon FG) 1:13.5503
7 Jason Heck (Ford Falcon BF) 1:13.5690
8 Steve Briffa (Holden Commodore VZ) 1:14.6659
9 Michael Anderson (Ford Falcon BF) 1:14.9681
10 Sam Morabito (Holden Commodore VE) 1:16.0073
11 Anthony Loscialpo (Holden Commodore VE) 1:16.0767
12 Jack Sipp (Holden Commodore VE) 1:16.3847
13 Simon Emerzidis (Holden Commodore VZ) 1:16.9939
14 Leigh Moran (Ford Falcon BA) 1:19.0596
15 Emily Duggan (Holden Commodore VE) 1:19.8501