Hunter takes Kumho Series win amid action-packed racing
Josh Hunter has claimed his second round win of the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series in an action-packed day at Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria.
The 17-year-old Fernandez Motorsport Falcon driver finished third in this morning’s nine-lap second race of the weekend, before leading home the field in a dramatic 15-lap final to seal the round and re-take the series lead from Jim Pollicina.
“It was like a battle for survival out there,” Hunter said.
“There was a dry line in the last race, but it was greasy on the edges of the circuit. We struggled a bit for pace this weekend but it’s good to come away with another podium and the round. We worked hard to get the car back on the pace.”
Hunter now leads by 35 the series points after former leader Pollicina had a difficult day, but managed to bring his Commodore home fourth overall.
The Sydney-based driver finished fourth in this morning’s race and led at the beginning of Race 3, only to later spin.
He received a pit lane penalty for re-entering the circuit dangerously after the spin, but then later retired from the race with driveline problems.
The final race was action packed with Matt Hansen, Mark Shepherd and Morgan Haber all eliminated in separate accidents that caused the Safety Car onto the circuit.
Perhaps the ‘drive of the race’ came from Mackay driver Justin Garioch, who charged from 18th on the grid to third in Race 3.
Yesterday’s Race 1 winner Tony Evangelou looked to continue his form in the morning’s Race 2 but a spin dropped him back to an 11th-place finish.
He recovered to finish fourth in Race 3 and take the final podium position for the weekend in his return to the category behind Hunter and young gun Aaron Tebb.
Earlier in the day, 20-year-old New South Wales-based mechanic Tebb won his first Kumho Series race in a wild nine-lap Race 2 in his ex-Lee Holdsworth/Garry Rogers Motorsport Commodore.
Starting from sixth on the grid in the wet, he picked his way through the field and the conditions to win clear of an equally impressive Hansen, Hunter, Pollicina and Shawn Jamieson.
Tebb’s second place overall was his first Kumho Series podium result and has catapulted him into third in the series points.
“The second race today was awesome. It was actually heaps of fun – I really like the wet,” Tedd said.
““Dad (team owner Robert Tebb) let me finally drive a V8 after years of pestering him, so this is a nice reward for him.”
Queensland driver Shane Hunt won the Hi-Tec Oils Classic Trophy for older model cars, his 2001-built, ex- Brad Jones Racing Falcon AU finishing an impressive seventh in the final race against much newer machinery.
The next round of the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series will be at Queensland Raceway in Ipswich on August 11-12 as part of the Shannons Nationals.
V8 Touring Cars top 10 series points.
1. Josh Hunter (Falcon BA), 312 points
2. Jim Pollicina (Commodore VZ), 279 points
3. Aaron Tebb (Commodore VZ), 194 pts
4. Michael Bartsch (Falcon BA), 185 points
5. Justin Garioch (Falcon BA), 180 points
6. Chris Smerdon (Falcon BA), 177 points
7. Bobby Jane (Falcon BA), 163 points
8. Morgan Haber (Falcon BA), 153 points
9. Scott Loadsman (Commodore VZ), 123 points
10. Mark Shepherd (Falcon BA), 117 points