Strong seasons for Tailem Bend's Shannons categories

Friday 05 July, 2019
Photos: Dan Thompson, Revved Photography, Nathan Wong
With the Shannons Nationals heading to The Bend Motorsport Park for the third round of 2019, thenationals.com.au has a look at the season so far for four of the categories.
 

carsales TCR Australia Series

Sitting pretty on top of the carsales TCR Australia Series standings after two rounds is young Queenslander Will Brown, with the HMO Customer Racing prodigy having won three out of a six races so far this season.

While the Hyundai i30 pilot is certainly turning heads with his good form in the new category so far, much the same can be said about the man in second place, Ashley Seward Motorsport’s Dylan O’Keefe. The Alfa Romeo pilot won the opening two races of the Phillip Island round, before a final race pile up cost him the third straight victory.

The battle for third is a much closer affair with only one point separating Wall Racing’s Tony D’Alberto and Aaron Cameron from Melbourne Performance Centre.

The two are currently the best of the rest with D’Alberto having finished twice on the podium as opposed to Cameron’s sole podium at Phillip Island.

The inaugural race winner at Sydney Motorsport Park in Jason Bright has endured a tough run of form since his historic victory, his fourth and seventh in Sydney’s remaining races overshadowed by a horror round in Phillip Island that included a DNF and a last place finish.

Top Five
Will Brown 244 points
Dylan O’Keefe 192
Tony D’Alberto 154

Aaron Cameron 153

James Moffat 133

CAMS Australian Endurance Championship

Despite the CAMS Australian Endurance Championship’s second round taking place next weekend, the results will have a flow on effect the CAMS Australian GT Championship also reaching its midway point in Tailem Bend.

Currently leading both championships is reigning GT champion Geoff Emery, while reigning Endurance champion Max Twigg sits in second place, however both drivers have remarkably enjoyed their success in the other one’s speciality category.

On paper, Twigg and co-driver Tony D’Alberto would be confident of claiming back-to-back wins on the South Australian circuit, but with Emery and Garth Tander putting on an emphatic display in Phillip Island – anything is possible.

Behind the wheel of the slick McLaren 720S GT3, Fraser Ross bounced back from a disappointing GT season opener in Melbourne to place runner-up in Phillip Island alongside Ryan Simpson.

While Ross may be out of a reach for crack at the GT championship, he and Simpson are certainly in contention for a tilt at the Endurance Championship title.
 

In contrast, a disappointing round in Victoria for Peter Hackett and co-driver Dom Storey saw Hackett fall further behind the two front-runners in the GT Championship point score, meaning a good result in South Australia is vital.

Top Five Australian GT

Geoff Emery  676 points

Max Twigg 614
Peter Hackett 494
Tony Bates  332

Garth Tander 312

Top Five Australian GT

Geoff Emery/Garth Tander 312
Fraser Ross/Ryan Simpson 282

Max Twigg/Tony D'Alberto 242
Tony Bates/John Martin 199
Vince Muriti/ Luke Youlden 191

CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship

The year 2019 has belonged to Luis Leeds and the Victorian doesn’t need to do much in South Australia to claim his maiden Australian title.

After four rounds, Leeds sits a comfortable 77 points ahead of his closest competitor in Ryan Suhle after claiming every round of the 2019 season, as well as picking up three of six race wins during Phillip Island’s double round.

At Tailem Bend, it is a double round again and Leeds is well on track to secure the title, especially if he recreates his previous form.

A miracle is needed for Suhle to win the title in his third season in the Championship and the Queenslander will most likely be battling with Lochie Hughes and Antonio Astuti in third and fourth respectively for a runner-up finish.

If anyone is going to knock Leeds of the perch, it will be Suhle who has won three races and claimed a further three podiums, while Hughes and Astuti have one race win each.

Top Five

Luis Leeds 242 points

Ryan Suhle 165

Lochie Hughes 153

Antonio Astuti 143
Jackson Walls 84

National Sports Sedan Series

 

The National Sports Sedan Series has only had one round in 2019 and the series’ superstar in Tony Ricciardello leads the way after claiming a win over reigning champion Steven Tamasi.
 

Ricciardello would be confident of extending the gap at the top after winning the season opener at The Bend last year, while Tamasi is still warming up with a further three rounds to be completed after the second round.

Rounding out the top three is Steven Lacey and the Chev Camaro Z28  will be keen to claim his first victory in the series since grabbing two consecutive round wins  at the end of the 2017 season.

Birol Cetin didn’t have a memorable year last year, his best round being a podium in round two, however after a fourth place in April, the New South Welshman will be hoping to recreate his title winning form of 2017.

Top five
Tony Ricciardello 135 points

Steven Tamasi 124
Steven Lacey 113

Birol Cetin 97

Shane Bradford 91

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