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26 JULY 2016

After many months of work to completely rebuild the Shannons Falcon Sprint and fit the new Mick Webb built 302ci engine Jim was forced to retire from the second race at Queensland Raceway due to differential failure.

The last time there was a DNF was during the first round at the Clipsal meeting at the beginning of the year when the AMC Javelin threw a belt and Jim was forced to shut the engine down while challenging for the lead.

The revamped Sprint was given a short shakedown at Sandown prior to going to Queensland and the team found there were very few issues that needed attending to. In the first practice session in QL Jim found the diff ratio didn’t suit the circuit and as well the handling was terrible so there was a lot of work to do before the second session.

The car was better in P2 but the handling was still not good enough to improve on the sixth place achieved in P1 and further changes saw no real improvement in qualifying where Jim finished seventh.

In the first race Jim struggled to make any headway as the car was losing time out of the corners due to the handling issues and although the engine was performing strongly he fell back in the pack to finish a disappointing eleventh.

“We made quite a few changes to the suspension on the Friday and Saturday but obviously we have more work to do before the next round at Phillip Island. Because of the handling issues my corner speed was compromised and I was losing time coming onto the straights”. said Jim.

Starting from the sixth row in race two was always going to be tough and Jim found it difficult to make any real progress then on lap twelve of thirteen the crown wheel and pinion failed and the car was out.

“I can’t complain as over the years we have had very few DNFs and plenty of good results so it will be a case of get ready for the next round and hope we have a better result”. said the two time Touring Car Masters Champion.

The Round win was taken out by Glenn Seton from John Bowe and Jason Gomersall with Bowe now leading the series after five rounds with 775 points from Eddie Abelnica on 716 and Seton on 711.

The plan for Jim was to run the Falcon Sprint for the balance of the year but there is a possibility that he may be forced to revert back to the Javelin for Phillip Island as the team will need to fabricate a complete new differential housing for the Sprint to accommodate a different crown wheel and pinion.

There isn’t a great deal of time available as Jim had a drive day on the Tuesday at the QL circuit and then on Monday week Jim and long time tarmac rally co-driver Barry Oliver will head to Perth to compete in Targa West..

The team will again compete in the Shannons Porsche Cayman GT4 that carried them to third place in Targa Tasmania this year.

The four day Targa West event will cover 30 special stages over 250 competitive kilometres and will be hard fought with an 80 car field set to contest a wide variety of stages from industrial estate roads to very fast country roads.

Apart from major sponsor Shannons Jim is also supported by Adrenalin ,Leatherman Tools and Porsche.

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