September 10, 2023 | General

Pollicina claims remarkable maiden win at Sensational Sandown

JIM POLLICINA equalled the record for most starts in Kumho Tyre V8 Touring Car Series this weekend at Sandown Raceway – and promptly won the round for good measure. 

Pollicina won race two following a penalty for Jude Bargwanna before surviving a brutal third race to remarkably claim his first ever Kumho Series round victory on the event of his 55th round start.

It was a remarkable weekend of racing at Sandown with three winners from three races – all three of them incredibly dramatic to boot.

Bargwanna crossed the line first in race two on Sunday morning however was later penalised five seconds for track limit breech at turn seven, handing the win to Pollicina – who had crossed the line second.

That had Ray Hislop second and Tony Evangelou third, while Race 1 winner Jamie Tilley was an unfortunate non-finisher.

Tilley had led a chunk of the 14-lap affair however his Falcon jammed its throttle open entering the final corner; the car spearing into the armco barrier on the exit of the corner and out of the race.

The damage was too bad to be repaired in time for race two on Sunday, forcing Tilley out of the race.

Race three was a 21-lap thriller that had more twists and turns than a Marvel movie.

The race start saw Jason Foley make a blinder from the third row of the grid in his ex-DJR Falcon, which coupled with a rare slow departure for Pollicina, saw the field five wide for a moment on the wide expanse of Sandown’s front straight.

Through it all, Tony Evangelou found himself leading the race while Bargwanna and Antonio Molluso worked their way from the back.

Pollicina passed Evangelou for the lead on lap six, Bargwanna and Hislop slipping past at the same time.

Bargwanna then assumed a lead he’d never lose two laps later, though that was far from the end of the action as Hislop and Pollicina battled for second position and would would ultimately be for the round win.

Pollicina locked a brake at Dandenong road on the ninth lap and ran wide, Hislop turning the Commodore around as he tried to work his way past.

That dropped Pollicina to the back, and for the time had Hislop in the box seat to claim the round – before Race Control delivered him a drive through penalty.

For a time Evangelou was in the box seat to claim the round win, before Pollicina’s recovery to third – on the last lap – ultimately clinched him the top spot.

Bargwanna won the wild race from Antonio Molluso, who claimed a career-best second place finish. Pollicina was third and Tony Auddino a stout fourth.

Pollicina claimed his maiden Round win over Hislop and Evangelou, while Bargwanna finished fifth overall but in Tilley’s absence extended his championship lead.

It was the second major success for Pollicina’s ex-Triple Eight Commodore at Sandown too, the car winning the 2012 Sandown 500 in the hands of Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff.

Pollicina now sits second overall in the standings, behind Jude Bargwanna, heading into the final round of the series at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International this November.