Tabinor Takes Winton Saloon Cars
30/06/2010 at 11:56AM

While Holden Commodores again showed the way in the Australian Saloon Cars at Winton last weekend, it was a different one which took out round three of the series. British born Victorian Simon Tabinor chased defending champion Shawn Jamieson for two races to no avail but led all the way to take over the top spot on the points table from fellow Victorian Tim Rowse.

“I been chasing that red Holden (Jamieson’s) all weekend and it is great to get a win in the last. The car was great and I thought I drove it pretty well,” rejoiced a contented Tabinor.

South Australian Jamieson topped both qualifying sessions and easily saw off his challengers in the first and second races. However an alleged rule infringement regarding a bumper bracket on his Commodore seen him stripped of second race points and relegated to the rear of the grid for race three which he opted not to start.

“There was no point! The technical people said the car had an infringement and that they would take away my points from race two and let me start from the back in race three. Technically the car was still illegal so would they take the points away again? Or charge me?” argued the Morphet Vale Garage Commodore driver. “It was a ridiculous ruling so I decided to not run the car in the last, and packed up ready to go home.”

Sheer consistency produced Sam Milton and his Premium Showers & Robes Ford Falcon AU his best series result, second overall after a first up fourth behind team mate Paul Pennisi (VT) then two sixths. Pennisi couldn’t repeat his best ever result, tangling with Corey Ludeman’s AU in the second race that put both well down the order.

Former series leader Tim Rowse (VT) watched the first race finish from the kitty litter at turn 12 after tangling with Geoff Brown’s AU which came about after a melee involving Ryan McLeod who would suffer a similar decision to Jamieson but elected to start the third race.

In the meantime the Rowse Motors Commodore started race two from the back of the field and fought through to fourth and was runner up in the last. “I had a good run with not too much race panel damage,” said Rowse. “Then in that last race I thought I might get Simon in the second half of the race as I generally set my car up to come on later. But I had Brad Piggott’s Ford right behind me and I was covering him for quite awhile.”

The opening encounter was a carnage carnival with many cars copping damage including Andrew Nowland (AU) who was an innocent victim of the Rowse/McLeod incident in the Cleavage. McLeod’s team mate Dean Crosswell wasn’t so lucky as his Ford was turned around in first corner and relegated to last – then later excluded. Several went off-track to avoid carnage including two of the girls in the field Meg Carra and Kelli Stephens in their AUs.

The Falcons of Dave Heath and Corey Ludeman were strong podium chances for awhile but slipped down the order with fuel sensor and gearbox issues respectively. Piggott was another Ford that was strong early before dropping back – his problem related to a computer/fuel glitch.

Pennisi’s third was big effort from tenth on the grid and he had to stoutly ward off Milton and Brown in the closing laps. However in race before Pennisi tangling at turn ten, Brown was off at turn one avoiding the seemingly mandatory first corner fun and games – this time Heath was the victim.

With Jamieson and Tabinor well clear and gone, solid performances came from McLeod and Rowse to claim third and fourth from the back, ahead of Piggott, Milton, Justin Garioch (AU), David Rogers whose AU was sixth in race one and Basil Stratos’ Holden Commodore.

The top three in the last were well ahead of the rest with Tabinor showing the way to Rowse and Piggott. For the second time McLeod had to do it from the back, this time getting to fourth ahead Heath, Milton, Justin Garioch, Ludeman, Mark Primmer, Nathan Garioch and Crosswell. Brown, Stratos, Rogers, Pennisi and the best of the earlier models, Alf Kuusela (EA Falcon) next ahead of the best of the girls, Naomi Maltby in a VN Commodore.
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