Power Rankings: Sandown SpeedSeries
Big hots, significant nots, and several more whats than normal: this is the Power Ranking from the Shannons SpeedSeries at Sandown.
ABOUT THE RANKINGS: The TRT Power Rankings are compiled by your nominations from social media and edited by the TRT editorial team. They’re designed to give a balanced, as fair as possible critical overview of those things that excelled and those things that struggled, at each event. It’s (mostly) a democracy, and what you nominate generates the order, so have your say next event via our social media channels, @theracetorque on Facebook, Twitter and Insta. Look for the call out each evening and get commenting!
Can anyone else remember a time when 62.5% of a field ran side-by-side?
2. Trans Am
James Moffat was all-conquering at the front of the field, and behind him, there was that standard quantity of mega Trans Am racing that we have come to know and love.
Bailey Sweeney had a big weekend at the races, scoring pole and the two latter wins. Aaron Cameron was staunch all weekend, ditto Tony D’Alberto, who registered the race one victory. The racing might not have been fierce at the front of the field, but there was plenty of spice throughout the running order.
4. V8 Touring Cars
Despite the size of the field, there was once again significant action turned out by the V8 Touring Cars.
For instance, the first lap of the opener was an absolute belter, with rain only falling on one half of the circuit, and it was the high-speed, sketchy portion at that.
See 1) for more from race three, which set the scene for the remainder of the race.
Through everything, Jim Pollicina topped the weekend pointscore in the same weekend he equalled the all-time record for series round starts.
5. Cox Vs D’Alberto, Part 1,000,000
The beef was off the chain once again. Pass us the popcorn, please.
6. The Bargwanna Rallycross Team
Just Bargwanna things.
7. Production Cars + GT4
There was plenty of quality racing from the combined GT4 and Production Car field.
For instance, there was the race one last-lap pass for the win by Shane Smollen on Karl Begg, with that circuit ultimately finishing in Begg tangling with a slower car.
Smollen wound up clean sheeting the weekend, while Grant Sherrin topped the proddys, mixing it with the GT4s throughout.
Bonus HOT for the SpeedSeries social media manager in this instance.
8. Formula Open
The battles at the front of the field between Ryan How and Trent Grubel throughout the Sunday pair of races were well worth watching, and reminiscent of the glory days of Aussie F3.
9. TV Things
How good were the drone shots over the weekend? Another enjoyable broadcast for those who weren’t trackside which, despite well promoted upheavals behind the scenes and a few minor glitches here or there, didn’t look or feel much different to what we’ve had all year.
We’ve been critical of this before, but at Sandown the recoveries were swift all weekend long, maximising racing laps. Nicely done.
Bonus reference to the ‘Recoverator’ all-wheel-drive monster. What a thing.
Rick Rolling the Audience
Our editor absolutely went for it, and we couldn’t be prouder.
Merging is difficult
A murder of crows attacked the TV drone, providing fantastic entertainment for the punters gathered at Dandenong Road on Sunday afternoon.
Massive Michael Clemente
You had one job
Picture this: your job was to arm the gate at the south end of the circuit with a remote control to allow access for officials, TV and media. However, instead of sitting at the gate, so you could efficiently gatekeep, you placed yourself 350m inside the gate at the turn three tunnel instead. Probably not ideal…
1. Car Counts
For the opening races of the weekend, the following grid sizes were presented to the starter:
MARC Cars: 7
V8 Touring Cars: 9
Formula Open: 12
Trans Am: 19
Production Cars: 21
2. MARC Cars
There’s no doubt that the MARC Cars is a great product, an international success story that is a Swiss army knife in the motorsport world, with the platform able to be invited to practically any national or state-level racing programme on any given weekend.
However, the desire to step out onto their own over the weekend wasn’t exactly a great look: 12 cars entered, nine cars made it onto the track for qualifying, with eight making it to race day. Despite the cars, in theory, being close in performance, the races were largely spread out, with the opening 29-lapper seeing the cars further spaced with the addition of a compulsory pit stop.
If they can get 15-20 cars on the grid, it’ll be a good thing.
3. Tilley’s Tears
Con: a stuck throttle and big damage.
Pro: luckily it happened there and not elsewhere around the track.
4. Trans Am Tangles and tears + officialdom
Lots of biff in a series that has had lots of it this year.
And also, how was James Moffat not penalised for punting Elliot Barbour at the start of race 3? Ray Hislop got a drive through for punting an out-of-control Jim Pollicina in the Kumho Series earlier, but this got nothing at all. Not a great look.
5. Jude Drops It
A costly error for the series leader, who lost significant points to race winner Brad Tilley, who had his own drama later on.https://twitter.com/SpeedSeriesAU/status/1700383255898513596
6. TCR Friday Stacks
Firstly, Will Brown dropped it at turn two, while later, Zac Soutar found the fence with significant force at Dandenong Road corner. Brown’s weekend really didn’t get a lot better when he retired from race two and was a non-starter for the finale.
7. Further TCR Tears
Judicial and mechanical, there were numerous tales of woe from the weekend.
8. V8 Dramas
9. Friday Weather
It was bad. Even for Melbourne in September, it was bad, which is truly saying something as it dumped snow 50km up the road.
10. Proddy Punch Ons
Looking Good in ‘24