Sandown Saloon Car Review
28/10/2010 at 2:42pm

Before he was able to claim the 2010 Australian Saloon Car Series, Victorian Tim Rowse had to endure one incident-strewn race before the gloves were off for the final race of the season at Sandown last weekend.

The Commodore VT driver went into the round with a game plan. “Well I had several actually – it just depended where we all were after the start,” he said. “I just want to get out there and race.”

In the first outing he finished second, behind the Commodore of defending title holder Shawn Jamieson while the Ford Falcon AUs of Corey Ludeman and Andrew Nowland followed.

Going into the round second overall, Simon Tabinor (Commodore) dropped from third to seventh off the start before fighting back to fifth by the end, and ahead of a close contest between the Fords of Dave Heath and Sam Milton.

The Commodore of Gavin Ross took eighth from Dave Youlden, Geoff Brown (Fords) and Paul Pennisi (Holden) while Robert Lonie’s Commodore just held sway over the Falcon of Mark Primmer.

Tony McKenzie (Commodore VN) won out over George Papageorgiou (Falcon EA) in the Trophy Class but the latter had the points on board to take the title with two races to go, and Meg Carra was the top girl (AU) from Rebecca Drummond (EA). Kelli Stephens lost laps after bunkering her AU and bringing on a safety car.

In race two Jamieson and Ludeman both had some dramas at turn one which understandably, Rowse did not want to get involved in. The gaps opened up for Tabinor to lead while Jamieson regained the track to take up second place.

Rowse in the meantime languished in sixth behind Nowland, Ludeman and Milton. Shortly after Jamieson retook the lead but three laps on, Tabinor again grabbed the front running as the former champion began suffering gearbox issues.

Going into the second last lap Rowse who had worked up to third, challenged Jamieson for second at turn one. There was contact between them with both going off. Rowse regained race pace to finish fifth with a damaged wheel while Jamieson’s day was done – out with gearbox damage and a blown head gasket.

Ludeman recovered for third from Heath while Ross, Youlden, Pennisi, Primmer and Basil Stratos (Commodore) filled out the top ten ahead of Lonie, Ian Chivas (Falcon), Carra, McKenzie, Papageorgiou, Stephens, Drummond and the EA of Rod Lloyd. Milton and Phelan were on the retiree list – so too Brown who went out with a blown front brake caliper.

With the series won and starting out of the third row, Rowse worked his way to second and pressured leader Tabinor over the final laps. The latter ran wide out of the last corner but was able to just hold on for the narrowest of wins while easily retaining second in the series.

The leading Fords were close again, this time Nowland ahead of Ludeman while Milton came from the back of the field for fifth ahead of Heath, Ross, Youlden, Pennisi and Brown.
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