Sandown enjoys epic showdowns in state championships

Monday 22 July, 2019
Photo: Revved Photography
Sandown International Raceway has welcomed more than 200 competitors for the penultimate round of the CAMS Victorian State Circuit Championships in what was entertaining weekend of racing.
From category clean sweeps to thrilling final race dramas, the fourth round had it all as eight categories battled it out on the famous Victorian circuit.

Boasting the biggest field of the weekend was Improved Productions as Luke Grech-Cumbo steered his #1 HSV Senator to a perfect score over the other 36 competitors.

While Grech-Cumbo comfortably took out the round, nothing could separate the two drivers behind him as Troy Lloyd and Benjamin Schoots ended the weekend with the same amount of points - Lloyd technically finishing higher due to his two-runner ups. 

Only two other clean sweeps occurred throughout the weekend with reigning Porsche 944 champion Cameron Bellar grabbing three from three, while Formula Ford 1600 winner John Connelly was the other driver to win all three.

Despite Connelly winning his respective category, the outright Formula Ford victor came in the form of Lachlan Mineeff, who’s race one win and race two second place was enough to secure the victory over 2018 Victorian Hyundai Excel Series winner Benjamin Bargwanna.

Bargwanna’s former category was one of the few that endured a close finish as Benjamin Grice’s two race wins to Cameron Wilson’s one sealed the tight victory.

With both drivers enjoying one victory each heading into the final race, Wilson held the upper hand after the opening two laps but dropped to fifth on the third lap, handing Grice the lead. Despite his best efforts, Wilson could only climb as a high as second on the standings for both the race and the weekend

While it was a similar outcome in the Saloon Cars with Anthony Beare gaining bragging rights over Travis Lindorff, the category was sharing the track with what was the closest affair across the weekend.

The BMW E30s may have had one of the smaller fields, but it had the most drama as a victory to Alex Jory in the weekend’s final race saw him steal the round from Brian Bourke by just one point.
A second place would have won Bourke the round, however dropping to fifth in the first lap saw him out of contention as he finished the race in third.
There was also some drama in Sports Cars as a five second penalty to Joseph Ensabella saw him lose the round to James Bergmuller.

Despite winning all three races, Ensabella crossed the finish line last in the final due to the race finishing under safety car and the penalty sending the Porsche 991 pilot to the back of the grid.

In the remaining categories, Darryl Hansen drove his Ford Mustang to a Historic Touring Cars win, while Dylan Thomas took out top honours in the 36-car Formula Vee field.

The final round of the CAMS Victorian State Circuit Championships takes place at Phillip Island on 28-29 September.