Champions Chat: Jim Pollicina and Ryan Simpson

The Shannons Nationals caught up with this year’s Jacuzzi Spas Australian Production Car Series outright and A1 class winners Jim Pollicina and Ryan Simpson, who won the title at Phillip Island in November.

SN: You went into the final round with an outside chance and miraculously won the title by the end, was it unexpected?

JP: It’s always great to win a race and win a title. It was a little unexpected, we went into the round, knowing we had to win and the rest to have a little bad luck. With the way we managed our strategy, especially with tyres not having a failure all weekend, that’s where we won it, which was fantastic.

SN: The celebrations must have been pretty special after the victory.
RS: it was pretty exciting after winning the six hour to find out that we hadn’t just won the race, but also the championship. We had a bit of a celebration at the track, and then headed home to spend some time with the family. Not too big but it was nice.

JP: Ryan and I are pretty quiet people, we had a bit of chuckle and a bit of a laugh, we shook hands, had a mini celebration, then we went our separate ways, because we hadn’t expected to win, we didn’t plan our trips accordingly, so unfortunately we couldn’t celebrate as much as we liked, but we have since caught up in Sydney and had a few drinks and reminisced about the season which was nice.

SN: 2018 was a big season for you, what was your favourite on-track moment from this year?
JP: No doubt the best moment in the season was when Ryan overtook Tony D’Alberto in the final race and drove away from him to seal the championship victory. Finishing and winning a six-hour race is something that doesn’t happen very often.

SN: What was your worst moment from this season?

RS: The worst moment of the year was definitely losing the engine at Sandown in the first round, which was caused by the mixed gears twice. It happened once to me and one to Jim in Queensland.

SN: Is there anyone you’d like to thank from this year’s racing season?

JP: We had help initially from Lotus Australia who built and supplied the car for us, a big thanks to them, Dean Lillie and Andrew Scott at Ravage Raceworks who took the car to the next level and of course Ryan who pound-for-pound is the pick of the field in terms of drivers and I could not have done it without him.

RS: We would also like thank Parramatta Smash Repairs for their support too.

SN: Do you know what your racing plans will be heading into 2019?

JP: I ran other championships this year including Touring Cars Masters, Kuhmo V8 Touring Cars, so next year my focus will primarily be on Touring Cars Masters. I will discuss with Ryan and see what we can do.

RS: Hopefully I will be doing something, just talking with people now about possible endurance drives and GT, so with a bit of luck might be able to land a GT drive next year.