AROUND THE TRACKS
SANDOWN FIRE -
PIARC Recovery’s “CRASH CREW NEWS”.
A major drama was caused by the Pollicina/Emery HSV trying to burn itself to the ground at Turn 9 near the end of the AMC 3 hour. A broken exhaust caused the fuel tank to expand downward, contacting the tail shaft which eventually wore a hole in the tank next to the exhaust with the expected result – the flames could be seen from Turn 1.
With the fire up underneath the middle of the car it was extremely difficult to get at, to the point where we had to get the TC tilt tray under the rear to lift it to gain access. This still did not solve the problem as there was no way to stop the flow of fuel. With F1, F2 and F3 rapidly running out of stock – all extinguishers and the 3 tanks being used – T2 (Geoffy) and T6 (Little Al in Kage’s car) were busy picking up additional extinguishers from adjacent flag points. V1 and V2 were in on the act as well ferrying smoke/powder affected fire crew to the Medical Centre. After several laps of the Safety Car, and with no success in killing the fire in sight, the race was declared and a halt called to proceedings. In the end, with no visible fire but still smoking, we threw it on the truck and took it to the fire hydrant behind Pit 3 where it was suitably drowned (along with Steve McCall). After about 40 minutes of intense effort the fire was declared dead.
All-in-all, a tremendous job by all members of the Emergency Services Team, with a few individual “above and beyond the call of duty” efforts – not the least of which by Steve who finished up looking about as out as the car.
Monday, 30 March 2015
Mixed Weekend for Pollicina Motorsports at Sandown
Jim Pollicina has experienced a mixed weekend at the opening round of the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships at Sandown on the weekend, competing in the Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Cars as well as the Australian Manufacturers Championship 3 Hour.
In the Kumho Series, Pollicina qualified his ex-Tasman Motorsport Holden VZ Commodore 12th, but a brilliant start elevated him to third by the second corner of the opening race.
He went on to finish fourth in Race 1, second in Race 2 and fourth again in Race 3; the results ensured he finished the weekend as top privateer and third outright behind the Eggleston Motorsport duo of Jack Perkins and Liam McAdam.
“I’m very happy with the results – it was my first time in the Tasman Commodore for quite some time, so I took a while to reacquaint myself with the car, and I wasn’t as fast as I would have liked in the wet qualifying session,” Pollicina said.
“I was very happy with my starts in each race and the improvements in times throughout the weekend – I set my best time in the last race. To come away third overall behind drivers of the calibre of Jack and Liam was an excellent outcome.”
In the AMC 3 Hour, Pollicina’s hotly-anticipated HSV F-Series GTS made its racing debut. Pollicina and his co-driver Geoff Emery were fastest in their respective practice sessions, securing pole for the race, and Pollicina led the opening 27 laps.
“I spent the start of the race playing with the BMWs and Mitsubishi Evos, but there was plenty of performance in reserve to pull away from them,” Pollicina said.
“Unfortunately, with the car being brand new, there were some teething problems and I had to come into the pits with an engine misfire.
“We fixed the problem, but a bit later on we had a coolant pipe come off, which brought us into the pits again, and then Geoff had a broken exhaust in his stint.”
Despite the niggling gremlins, the Poll Performance/MoComm Communications HSV was still poised for a top 10 finish before it expired in a spectacular ball of flame just 15 minutes before the race finish, with Emery behind the wheel.
“The fire looks like it was caused by a fuel cell issue,” Pollicina said.
“We thought the damage would be severe, but once we brought the car back to the pits and assessed it, it actually wasn’t as bad as we expected.
“While the result wasn’t what we would have liked, it was still a very pleasing weekend, especially with so much pace straight away. We kept improving the car over the weekend so there is certainly great potential; over the weekend, we identified some areas of weakness we can work on for the next round.”
Pollicina will next be in action for Round 2 of the AMC, the Great Southern 4 Hour at Phillip Island, 22-24 May.
V8 Touring Cars Results Summary
Race 1: 4th
Race 2: 2nd
Race 3: 4th
V8 Touring Cars Points
1. Jack Perkins – 143
2. Liam McAdam – 119
3. Jim Pollicina – 103
4. Matthew Palmer – 81
5. Chris Smerdon – 79
6. Michael Hector – 59
7. Steve Briffa – 50
8. Steven Devjak – 49
9. Jake Kostecki – 47
10. Chris Delfsma – 42
AMC Results Summary
2015 SERIES ROUNDS
AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Rd 1 - Sandown, Vic - March 27-29
Rd 2 - Phillip Island, Vic - May 22-24
Rd 3 - Queensland Raceway, Qld - August 7-9
Rd 4 - Wakefield Park, NSW - October 16-18
Rd 5 - Sydney MS Park, NSW - Nov 13-15
V8 TOURING CAR
Rd 1 - Sandown, VIC - March 27-29
Rd 2 - Winton, VIC - Jun 12-14
Rd 3 - Queensland Raceway, QLD - Aug7-9
Rd 4 - Phillip Island, VIC - Sep 18-20
Rd 5 - Sydney MS Park, NSW - Nov 13-15