Pollicina to equal Kumho Series record at Sandown
KUMHO V8 Touring Cars Series ace Jim Pollicina will equal a long-held series record when Round 4 of the 2023 series races into life at Sandown Raceway next week.
The round will see Pollicina equal inaugural series champion Chris Smerdon in the all-time record books for round starts.
78 V8TC rounds have been held since the series’ foundation in 2008, with Smerdon having started 55 of them and Pollicina 54.
The South Australian is yet to start a round this year, allowing the ever-competitive Pollicina to close down the margin at the top of the all-time starters list.
He will then eclipse Smerdon when the Kumho Series competes at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International this November.
The pair have started nearly double the rounds of the next best – New South Wales driver John Vergotis with 27 rounds to his credit.
Of current competitors, only Tony Evangelou (23 rounds) comes close to Pollicina’s imposing record.
Pollicina is a regular frontrunner in the series, the runner-up in the 2012 outright championship and is renowned for being one of the fastest starters in a V8 Touring Car across any series.
The Sydneysider is a multiple Kumho Cup (Privateers) champion and a regular outright podium finisher, with one race win and 10 round podium finishes to his credit.
Sandown’s fourth round of the series marks a return to the circuit for the Kumho Series, last staging a stand-alone round there in 2019 when competing under the Super3 banner.
While Josh Fife won the weekend for Brad Jones Racing, It was there that Broc Feeney claimed his championship win – marking him as a star of the future and ensuring his progression into Super 2 and, ultimately, the Supercars Championship.
2023 represents the 13th visit to Sandown by the series, the famous circuit having been a staple on the calendar for all bar three seasons it has existed.
Sandown’s inaugural round in 2008 was won by Smerdon in an AU Falcon with several notables having success there since.
Steve Owen won in 2009, Image Racing’s Terry Wyhoon in 2010 while 2015 saw Jack Perkins take the round in a one-off cameo with Eggleston Motorsport.
Zac Best currently holds the Sandown lap record for the class, his 1m09.7833s best set in 2019.
Jude Bargwanna leads Jamie Tilley in the series by 47 points, with Pollicina in third and the super consistent Tony Auddino in fourth.
Following his spectacular race win in Queensland, Ray Hislop is fifth in the series heading to Sandown.
Several new or returning faces are expected on the Sandown grid when the V8 Touring Cars join the Shannons SpeedSeries event on September 8-10.
The weekend will be broadcast live, ad-break free and on-demand on Stan Sport, with free-to-air coverage on Saturday on the Nine Network.
Tickets can be purchased online via motorsporttickets.com.au