Heavy rain played havoc at Sandown Raceway for round five of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships to the point that racing was suspended for a period and some races cancelled for the day.
AUTO ACTION’s Garry O’Brien takes a look at the day’s action.
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The rain came just as they headed out for race one, which meant a quick visit to the pits for a switch to wet tyres. The race was barely underway when the safety car was called as a result of a start line incident involving Christian Fitzgerald, Marc Cini and Nathan Stricklen who ended spearing across the track and hitting the armco.
Aron Shields had grabbed the early lead and was in front when the race resumed on lap four. He went wide at Turn 1 on lap six and dropped to third. Ryan Wood assumed the lead and won ahead of Tom Sargent. Courtney Prince was fourth in front of Tom McLennan, Lachlan Bloxsom and Jason Miller.
Next was Danny Stutterd who was the winner in Pro-Am, and then followed Harrison Goodman, and the Pro-Am runner ups Sam Shahin and Brett Boulton. Class B was taken out by Jacob Li, half a second ahead of Lachlan Harburg.
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In a very wet Trophy race where the grid positions were reversed and equal points were allocated to all starters and finishers, Danny Buzadzic (Holden Torana A9X) won ahead of Tony Karanfilovski (Ford Mustang) and Cameron Tilley.
Several opted to start from pit lane as Colin Dunn (Chev Monza) led at first before Tilley took over. The latter was ultimately taken by Buzadzic and then Karanfilovski before the race was concluded, short of the scheduled race length as Adam Bressington had bunkered his Chev Camaro at Turn 1. Dunn was fourth ahead of Jim Pollicina and John Bowe in Toranas, Jamie Tilley (Mustang), and Andrew Fisher and Ryan Hansford in Toranas.
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The start of the first race was made for Class A1 Mitsubishi EVO X four-wheel drives with Cameron Crick in front and ahead of Jimmy Vernon. Crick led throughout and staved off Drew Russell (Class X BMW) over the final laps. Meanwhile Vernon held third until the last couple of laps where he was overtaken by Matt Holt (HSV Clubsport) and held off Holt’s team mate Chris Lillis.
Sixth place went to Jake Camilleri (Class C Mazda 3 MPS) ahead of Ben Gersekowski (A2 BMW M3), Duane West (Class X HSV GTS), Brian Callaghan (A2 Clubsport) and Shane Smollen (X BMW M4). Class B went to Daniel D’Aquino (Holden Commodore SSV), Class D to Daniel Natoli (Ford Fiesta) and Ash Jarvis (Suzuki Swift Sport) snared Class E.
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In deteriorating weather conditions Jeffri Ibrahim and Shane Van Gisbergen (Mercedes AMG GT3) scored a comfortable first race win over Yassar Shahin and Garth Tander and Liam Talbot and Fraser Ross in a pair of Audi R8 LMS EVOs.
The race finished ten minutes short of its scheduled time, behind the safety car which was brought about by Matt Stoupas bunkered his Audi at Turn 10. AM class Ross Poulakis spun his AMG twice in those laps but still managed to finish fourth ahead of Tony Bates and David Reynolds (Audi).
Sixth was Marc Cini (Audi) with second in AM with Gary Higgon/Paul Stokell (Audi) third in class, and ahead of Invitation’s David Crampton/Trent Harrison (KTM Xbow GT2). GT4 Cup went to Christos Batzios and Sam Brabham (Mercedes).
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