Shannons Nationals Friday wrap

On a wet and unpredictable Melbourne day, the penultimate round of the 2011 Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils got underway with practice and the first of the qualifying sessions at Sandown Raceway.

CLICK HERE for’s practice report from Formula Ford.

CLICK HERE for’s practice report from Formula 3.

CLICK HERE for’s practice report from GT3 Cup Challenge.

The Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Car series was back in action with a depleted field thanks to some mechanical woes post-Eastern Creek. While the weather played a part in the day’s result (which included qualifying) so too did experience, with two ‘veterans’ from Adelaide dominating proceedings.

Chris Smerdon took his BA Falcon to pole position, but not before a tight battle with multiple Australian Saloon Car champion Bruce Heinrich (Heinrich Performance AU Falcon) who was enjoying his maiden run in the V8.

Championship leader Terry Wyhoon (Lubrimaxx BA Falcon) claimed the sixth fastest time, behind the two South Australians, Scott Loadsman (Beautiful Tiles VY Commodore), Shaun Fennell (Graham Body Works Sikkens VX Commodore) and Paul Pennisi (Premium Showers & Robes VY Commodore).

In the VIP Petfoods Australian Manufacturers Championship, the all conquering TMR Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X of Stuart Kostera and Inky Tulloch weren’t the ones at the top of the timesheets on Day 1. Instead, Cameron Wilson and Peter Burnitt were the pace-sitters in Session 1, while former V8 Supercar star Glenn Seton stunned the opposition in a damp second session to be more than a second and a half faster than Kostera in Greg Symes’ Evo 9.

In the Suzuki Swifts, championship points leader Allan Jarvis (Toasted Motorsport) finished the day on top of the timesheets. Kiwi Mark Gibson (Team Gibson Motorsport) kept Jarvis honest, the two separated by just 0.03s after the second sessions, with title contender Morgan Haber half a second off in third.

And in Saloon Cars, the only other category to qualify today (their second qualifying session will come tomorrow morning), local driver Andrew Nowland (Coffey Ford AU Falcon) stole pole from series points leader Matt Lovell (Batteries Direct AU Falcon) and the returning Simon Tabinor (Eurostar Diesel VT Commodore).

Eastern Creek round winner Sam Milton (Nippy’s AU Falcon) was fourth ahead of reigning V8 Touring Car champion Tony Evangelou ( VT Commodore).

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