Unpredictable results, close championship showdowns and plenty of drama were the order of the day in the final round of the 2012 Shannons Nationals, the season concluding in style today at Melbourne’s Sandown Raceway.
An incident-filled day saw driver walk away from three separate rollover incidents – showing off the safety in the sport - whilst plenty of hard and close racing showcased all that was good about this years’ series that has featured highly competitive racing since round one, in March.
For the second time in two days TMR Australia fell just short of winning in the Australian Manufacturers Championship, pipped at the line in today’s second 40-lap production car race by BMW driver Beric Lynton.
The brand-new BMW 1M – the first to race globally – chased down and caught the TMR Mitsubishi that, with drivers Stuart Kostera and Inky Tulloch, had led much of today’s race.
Lynton snuck around the Mitsubishi in the race to the line and ended up winning by just 0.1s, with Garry Holt and Ryan McLeod finishing third.
John Bowe sealed his second Touring Car Masters series today, winning Round 8 of the series – one of the most incident-packed on record.
The TCM drama began on the opening lap of the day when Tony Edwards Holden Torana SLR was tipped into a roll at turn three, though Edwards was able to walk away from the incident. Jim Richards won the race after Andrew Miedecke was forced out with mechanical issues in his Camaro.
The second race also featured carnage, Richards’ AMC Javelin heavily damaged when he struck an unsighted car – the GT Falcon of Tony Karanfilovski - that had spun in the path of the field.
The race was restarted however was soon red-flagged with Chris Collins’ GT Ford becoming the third car of the day to roll, after making hefty contact with the wall at turn eight two laps after the race was restarted.
Brad Tilley held out John Bowe and Paul Freestone to take the win.
Andrew Miedecke made it three winners from three races when he charged from last to first in the final 12-lapper, leader Brad Tilley spinning off the circuit on the final lap to hand the win to the Camaro driver.
Bowe won the round from Charger driver Greg Crick and Tilley.
Sydney teenager Josh Hunter, 17, sealed victory in the 2012 Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series, becoming the youngest driver to win a V8 Supercar / Touring Car-style title.
The Finance-Ezi Falcon driver – who won Race 1 yesterday from pole position – clinched the title in Race 2 this morning by claiming another race win and made it a clean sweep by leading home the final 15-lapper in the afternoon.
Tony Evangelou was solid all weekend and finished second in all three races to run second for the round in his CAT-liveried ex-Jason Bright/Ford Performance Racing Falcon, while series rookie Morgan Haber finished third for the weekend.
Haber also clinched third in the series behind Hunter and Jim Pollicina.
Simon Tabinor completed his stunning season in the Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car series, taking three wins from three starts to win the round and end his title in style.
Even through the title was all-but out of his rivals reach prior to the weekend; Tabinor put an exclamation point on his stunning season by dominating today’s races, after Gavin Ross pushed him all the way to the line in yesterday’s weekend opener.
Josh Kean and Ross completed the podium in race two, Ross and Lindorff in the third.
Commodore Cup’s ‘Last Blast’ at a national level was just that, Adam Beechey holding out a fired-up Tony Bates to take the round victory and seal his third consecutive title in the one-make V8 category.
Bates won the first race but an emphatic drive from eighth to first in the reverse top-8 second was good enough for Beechey to win the round, sealing the deal in the finale’ with a lights-to-flag win.
Ross McGregor finished third for the round as the category bows out of national level competition for the time being, having first raced in 1994.
The Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series came down to a dramatic conclusion in a weekend that included a stunning last-lap incident in race two.
Damien Ward attempted a last-lap, last-corner dive on leader Allan Jarvis in the second race of the day that resulted in his Hi-Tec Oils livered car ending up rolling dramatically out of the race.
Ward was unscathed from the crash and jumped into a spare car for the finale’ later in the day as Reece Murphy and Allan Jarvis battled for the championship – with the margin set at 3 points into the final race.
Murphy ended up taking the flag first to seal the championship however a protest post-race saw Murphy relegated to third – and that was enough to change the results of the championship.
Trailing by 15 points entering the weekend, a 16-point turnaround was enough to give Allan Jarvis back-to-back titles in the one-make racing series in controversial circumstances.
Today’s action concluded an exciting nine-round Shannons Nationals series, the opening round of the 2013 series scheduled for March next year.
For more information and a complete broadcast schedule, head to www.thenationals.com.au