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10 OCTOBER 2016

The experiment to include 26 New Zealand cars and one USA car against the 21 Australian entries in round seven of the Touring Car Masters series at the Bathurst 1000 meeting proved to be very successful with no major incidents despite earlier concerns.

With the visiting drivers never having raced at the track previously and with such a huge field there was some thought that it may turn into a crash fest but to the credit of all drivers it turned out to be a great spectacle.

The first practice session was very much a case of finding space on the track to record a time while the visitors had their first look at the circuit and Jim was not only happy with 13th but most importantly the Shannons AMC Javelin.

“The car felt really good straight away and I’m sure I could have gone faster but like everyone else it was a question of getting a clear run while our Kiwi friends familiarised themselves with the track”. said Jim.

In the second session Jim finished 8th with only 1.2 seconds separating 4th to 8th with John Bowe coming out on top from Glenn Seton and Brett Youlden.

Qualifying was cancelled due to heavy fog on Friday morning so grid positions for the first six lap race were based on practice two times and Jim finished 7th after a good battle with Adam Bressington in the Chev Camaro.

The race was won by Seton from Bowe and Steve Johnson with only one second separating the next four cars.

The second race was a complete reverse grid of the race one results so Jim found himself right back at Murray’s corner in 39th position with a lot of cars in front that were fast in a straight line but not so quick around the corners but even so he finished the six lap race in 29th position with an unmarked car.

The third race over six laps was a straight Australia/New Zealand battle with all the local drivers starting from the left hand side of the grid and all the visiting drivers starting on the right hand side with grid positions determined by practice two times. Jim started from row eight in what was effectively 16th position with some very quick NZ cars to his right and it was always going to be tough battle as the visiting cars run under a different set of regulations and with more horsepower in most cases. It took some time to work through the slower of the NZ cars but Jim finally got through to 11th to finish off a solid weekend.

The top three places went to Australian drivers with Seton in front of Bowe and Bressington and the first NZ driver Dean Perkins ,who started off the front row of the grid, finishing 4th in his XD Falcon.

“The car was the best it has ever been and I was very happy with how it performed. Our times were the quickest we have recorded in the car at Bathurst and I’m looking forward to the final round in Sydney in December”. said Jim.

The next event on the schedule for Jim will be Targa High Country on November 4-6 in the Shannons Porsche Cayman GT4 with long time co-driver Barry Oliver.

The three day event will be run over 18 stages and 280 competitive kilometres and with entries not closing until October 21 organisers are expecting a field of over 200 cars to line up at Mount Buller.

Apart from major sponsor Shannons Jim receives very welcome support from Adrenalin, Leatherman Tools and Porsche.

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