Shannons Nationals The Bend: Sunday review
Sunday 17 November, 2019
Photos: Speed Shots Photography
The Shannons Nationals has come to an end after a thrilling November finale at The Bend Motorsport Park.
Including the fantastic news that Shannons Insurance and CAMS have opted to continue their partnership for another two years, the results on track were also just as positive.
Benjamin Grice led the Excel Nationals from the first practice session to the feature race chequered flag, a brilliant showing from the 2019 Victorian state winner.
Despite battling it out throughout the weekend with another five drivers, South Australian Asher Johnston ended up as the best of the rest by picking up a well-deserved second place in the feature race.
While Johnston and Grice ended the day on top, defending champion Michael Clemente put in one of the best performances of the weekend. Having missed Friday’s practice and qualifying, he started on Saturday at the back of the grid and ended up finishing in third place in the final race.
Dual CAMS Australian Drivers' Champion Tim Macrow started the day as the happiest driver, taking out the qualifying race over James Golding to head into the final race with a bundle of confidence over Team BRM's Anton de Pasquale and Thomas Randle.
After a strong result in yesterday’s qualifying race, the youngsters lined up on the front row of the grid. Though Randle soon found himself battling it out in the midfield after a poor start, de Pasquale continued his solid debut to cross the chequered flag first ahead of John Martin and Randle in third.
Though a 15 second penalty post-race meant the Team BRM driver was relegated to fourth, with TCR Australia star Will Brown promoted to third.
carsales TCR Australia
After a successful inaugural season, the carsales TCR Australia Series has wrapped up with Tony D’Alberto sealing runner-up honours and Aaron Cameron taking out third outright.
Cameron did everything he could to beat D’Alberto to that $50k prize, and was on track after winning today’s race over series winner Will Brown and Jordan Cox, while D’Alberto came fifth for the race. A solitary point separated Cameron and D'Alberto for the coveted prize.
However it was a heartbreaking end to the second race as Cameron encountered engine problems and struggled to keep up with the pack – struggling home to 10th place. D’Alberto’s fifth was enough to secure second place.
At the front of the final race, HMO Customer Racing's Nathan Morcom defeated a determined Chris Pither and Brown to win his first race of the year after 21 race starts.
Australian Prototype Series
It was another case of heartbreak in Sunday's solitary race, with a collision between title contender John-Paul Drake and Mark Laucke all but ending Drake’s chances to win.
Following the collision, Laucke ended up at the back of the grid but recovered to the front by the end of the race and secured a worthy victory.
However, it was the David Barram who secured enough points to claim the series title– his first series win in a 36-year career.
It was a special round for other reasons too, with the round’s outright second place going to Glen Stallbaum, the best result of his career. Third place went to Prototype Series debutant and Greek national – Andreas Laskaratos.
Australian Production Car Series
It was an incredible finish to the year for the Australian Production Car Series, as Iain and Grant Sherrin secured the title in a dramatic final race.
The Sherrins won the first race of the day to put themselves in contention, and finished the last race in second behind only Bradley Carr, giving them every chance to take top honours.
The Sherrins' mighty comeback was made official when their title rivals in Coleby Cowham and Lindsey Kearns in the Mustang, and Chris Lillis and Nathan Callaghan had days to forget.
For Cowham and Kearn, they got their a DNF in the final race which ruined all their good work from the opening two days, while Lillis and Callaghan encountered mechanical issues aboard their Holden in the final stages which saw them limp home in 10th.