Smerdon Takes Race 1 at Sandown
Shaun Fennel took second place after starting fourth on the grid in the Graham Body Works VX Commodore with his best drive of the year. Following closely was Championship contender Scott Loadsman in the Beautiful Tiles VY Commodore. Loadsman had an opening lap to forget dropping from third on the grid to eighth position but rallied during the 10 lap race to finish strongly.
V8 Touring Car debutant Bruce Heinrich in his recently acquired AU Falcon had a strong first race. Heinrich showed his years of experience in Saloon Cars by putting his Falcon on the front row during qualifying Friday and getting the third fastest time in the Time Attack earlier in the day. Heinrich was very happy with fourth place in race one. â€œNot a bad start for me in the series the car was good and I felt more comfortable as the race went on but we will be looking for podium finishes in race 2 & 3.
Fifth was Jim Pollicina and sixth Mark Sheperd both starting down the field after disappointing qualifying sessions. Both used their experience to move through the field in commanding fashion to recover in high points paying positions.
Terry Wyhoon one of the Championship favourites has had a weekend to forget thus far finishing race 1 in seventh position after starting from sixth. Wyhoon had a good start getting up to third place in the opening few laps until a spin dropped him down the field.
Mathew Hanson and Stephen Voight in their VY Commodores had consistent races but failed to move through the field finishing in eighth and ninth respectively both will be looking for better results in race 2 & 3. John Vergotis finished tenth in his AU Falcon after stating from the rear of grid. Vergotis has had mechanical problems all weekend and was unable to qualify but was happy with getting the car to the line for some valuable Championship points
Michael Hector was happy with 11th position as it was his first race in the wet in his BA Falcon. Aaron Tebb had an interesting race moving through the field rapidly from ninth position on the grid up to third position near the end of the race setting the fastest lap along the way. Tebbs VY Commodore got stuck in fifth gear two laps from the race end dropping him down the field. The only DNF went to Paul Pennisi in his second race weekend in the V8TC Series in his VY Commodore. Pennisi was having a decent race until a spin and will be hoping for better luck in tomorrows races.
The Championship is taking shape going into tomorrows two races and the final Round at Phillip Island in November. Chris Smerdon has moved into the lead sitting on 360 points ahead of Terry Wyhoon on 330 points. Scott Loadsman has closed in on Wyhoon on 323 points. Tomorrows races will go a long way in deciding the 2011 Champion.