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Biante Touring Car Masters down to the wire at Historic Sandown

Submitted by on October 15, 2009

The 2009 Biante Touring Car Masters is set for a thundering series finale between reigning champion Gavin Bullas from Victoria and former Bathurst winner and V8 Supercar driver John Bowe at this year’s Nationallube Historic Sandown from November 6-8.

With 180 points still on offer after six rounds and two highly sought after trophies up for grabs, all attention is squarely on the current series points standings.

In the outright Group 1 championship, the Rain City Mustang of Bullas sits 126 points ahead of Bowe’s WesTrac Camaro SS, with Brad Tilley in his XY GT Falcon still mathematically in the hunt.

Meanwhile, Group 2 series leader Trevor Talbot from Victoria in his Dukes Body Works XU-1 Torana holds a slender 55-point advantage over South Australia’s Rory O’Neill in his Blackcat Racing Porsche 911 RS, with Greg Waddington from Bendigo third and still an outside chance in his HQ Holden.

However as drivers this year must drop their lowest round score for the season, crunching the numbers reveals interesting possibilities.

Eliminating the current lowest score each driver has earned so far this season tightens up the top end of the Group 1 battle, with Bullas just 81 points clear of Bowe going into Sandown.

With his worst round dropped, Tilley’s Falcon closes to 134 points of the series’ lead, while seven-time Bathurst winner Jim Richards slips inside the magic 180-point margin in his 1964 model Falcon Sprint, to trail Bullas by 178 points.

Richards showed the pace of his Shannons Falcon at Bathurst when he took the round win and with brakes a key factor at Sandown, the more nimble 289-cid V8-engined Sprint will be very competitive despite its power disadvantage to Bullas’s Boss 351 Mustang.

So while the Group 1 championship fight realistically rests between Bowe and Bullas at Historic Sandown, the leading four cars will all be pushing hard for top honours and with five different race winners this so far season, the final round victory is far from predictable.

For Group 2, omitting the drivers’ lowest-scoring round from their season points tally offers some breathing room to class leader Talbot in his Torana, stretching the gap back to O’Neill ‘s Porsche from 55 to 142 points, with Waddington down 174 points, but still in the frame in his HQ Holden.

Despite Talbot’s impressive lead, O’Neill, who has finished in the runner-up position for the previous two seasons, will be pushing hard to score his maiden championship win in the Biante Touring Car Masters.

Here’s how the points stand:-

GROUP 1:

DRIVER TOTAL SCORE (ROUNDS 1-6) GAP TO

SERIES LEAD

ADJUSTED SCORE

(- LOWEST ROUND)

ADJUSTED GAP TO SERIES LEAD
1 Gavin Bullas 1013 860
2 John Bowe 887 - 126 779 - 81
3 Brad Tilley 805 - 208 726 - 134
4 Jim Richards 682 - 331 682 - 178

GROUP 2:

DRIVER TOTAL SCORE (ROUNDS 1-6) GAP TO

SERIES LEAD

ADJUSTED TOTAL

(- LOWEST SCORE)

ADJUSTED GAP TO SERIES LEAD
1 Trevor Talbot 796 796
2 Rory O’Neill 741 - 55 654 - 142
3 Greg Waddington 622 - 174 622 - 174

The 30-plus car field in the Biante Touring Car Masters series final at the Nationallube Historic Sandown boosts total entries to over 400 for the meeting – a high-water mark for an historic meeting at the popular Melbourne metropolitan circuit.

Other large entries have been received for Group C & Group A Touring Cars (25), Over 3.0-litre Historic Touring Cars (27), Under 3.0 litre Historic Touring Cars (34) and Group SB & SC Production sports Cars (40, with a waiting list of 10).

For further Sandown Historic information visit www.vhrr.com

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