Brad Jones Racing’s Jack Smith heads into this weekend’s penultimate round of the Kumho Tyre V8 Touring Car Series with a 99 point lead, as drivers get ready to tackle Phillip Island.
Smith dominated the previous round at Queensland Raceway, scoring pole and three race victories to emphatically put his mark on the title chase.
Jordan Boys sits second in the series and won the opening round at Phillip Island earlier this year.
Taking advantage of a puncture on race leader’s Tyler Greenbury’s Eggleston Motorsport Commodore, Boys powered his Image Racing BF Falcon to victory in the third race of that round – doing enough to take the weekend by a solitary point.
Boys then finished third at Winton and fifth at Queensland to retain second in the standings with two rounds remaining.
Greenbury has been the hard-luck story of the season, winning four races this year but losing two rounds almost within sight of the chequered flag – including the season opener.
A strong consistent weekend at Queensland Raceway saw the young Queenslander grab third overall in the Sunshine state and his earlier form at the Island will give him hope for another strong weekend this time around.
Michael Anderson sits fourth in the championship class, with the impressive Bathurst-based driver now a regular frontrunner following his upgrade to an ex-FPR BF Falcon at the start of the season.
Anderson’s relationship with his new car got off to the best possible start when he scored his maiden Kumho series pole at Phillip Island earlier this year – taking advantage of a drying track and a perfectly-timed lap to grab the top spot. He’s also in a close battle for the Kumho Cup class honours this year with fellow privateer runner, Jon McCorkindale.
Though the driver from country New South Wales endured a torrid time last time out in Queensland, he trails Anderson by only 64 points with plenty of racing to come, while two fourths at the Phillip Island season opener will give cause for optimism as well.
Jordan Boys’ Image Racing teammate Josh Smith was another to enjoy a strong weekend the last time the series raced at Phillip Island – improving from 11th in qualifying to finish sixth in Race 1 and a stunning second in race two to kickstart his season in style and a consistent run since then has him within striking distance of the title’s top three heading into the final two rounds.
Outside of the key title protagonists, the Phillip Island field includes plenty of familiar faces, inclulding Michael Caine (ex-Tasman VE Holden) and Chris Smerdon (ex-SBR FG Falcon) who will continue their battle this weekend.
Caine’s teammate Jim Pollicina will be looking to bounce back from a tough trip to Queensland to enable his chase of a top-six finish in the series to continue.
Steven Page, Leigh Moran and Garry Hills all return to the series while noted Victorian racer Gary Collins will make his second start of the 2017 season in his stunning ex-Jack Daniel’s Racing/Kelly Racing Commodore.
Heritage class leader Bradley Neill will also return in his ex-Parsons VS Commodore.
The Kumho Tyre V8 Touring Car Series grid will tackle three races this weekend, as part of the penultimate round of the Shannons Nationals on 8-10 September.
Round 4 entries
|2||Kumho Cup||Page Bros. Jayco||Steven Page||VIC||Commodore VE ll||5000||Black|
|7||Kumho Cup||Mocomm Motorsports Communications||Jim Pollicina||NSW||Commodore VE||5000||Red|
|11||Kumho Cup||Kenwood Homes||Michael Anderson||NSW||Ford Falcon FG||5000||Red/White|
|14||Championship||Image Racing/Lubrimaxx||Josh Smith||QLD||Ford Falcon FG||5000||White|
|16||Kumho Cup||Image Racing/Lubrimaxx||Leigh Moran||VIC||Ford Falcon BA||5000||Black/Silver|
|21||Championship||Brad Jones Racing/SCT Logistics||Jack Smith||QLD||Commodore VE ll||5000||Red/Grey|
|23||Kumho Cup||Massel||Michael Caine||NSW||Commodore VE||5000||Red|
|38||Championship||Eggleston Motorsport||Tyler Greenbury||QLD||Commodore VE ll||5000||Black|
|39||Kumho Cup||Vectra Corp||Chris Smerdon||SA||Ford Falcon FG||5000||Blue/Yellow|
|49||Championship||Image Racing/Lubrimaxx||Jordan Boys||VIC||Ford Falcon FG||5000||White|
|55||Heritage||Neill Motorsport||Bradley Neill||QLD||Commodore VS||5000||Blue|
|69||Kumho Cup||Dial Before You Dig/Mac Motorsport||Jon McCorkindale||NSW||Ford Falcon BF||5000||Green|
|76||Kumho Cup||Elite Crete Systems Australia||Garry Hills||WA||Commodore VE ll||5000||Black/Blue|
|77||Kumho Cup||Protrack Automotive Performance||Gary Collins||VIC||Commodore VE ll||5000||Black|