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Onwards to the Creek..   
Story By: Shannons Nationals PR  Date: 30/8/2010 at 10:23:03 AM 
The Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships is getting down to the business end of the season, with a full card of seven categories taking to Eastern Creek Raceway on September 10-12.

After a two-and-a-half month break, there has been plenty of behind the scenes development work done by the leading contenders in the Commodore Cup National Series, setting up an enthralling penultimate round on the fast and flowing western Sydney circuit.

Series rookie Adam Beechey and experienced co-driver Dean Crosswell were victorious in the Commodore Cup’s hallmark endurance round at Winton Raceway in June, giving Beechey a 55 point advantage in the title chase coming into Eastern Creek.

The main challengers for the title this year include Scott Andrews, Tony Bates and Nick Parker, with the close nature of the racing likely to see the Series go down to the wire.

“If we come away from Eastern Creek still in the lead, we’ll be happy,” said Adam Beechey.

“Last week we went and did some laps at Calder Park as a bit of a systems check, trying out a few things, and it all went very well.

“It’s all on the line now, everyone is getting very serious, and a few of the boys have been up in Sydney testing.

“I believe Marcus Zukanovic will be having another start, which will mix things up, but our aim is to stay up there with Scotty (Andrews) and Tony (Bates).

“When it comes down to this point in the championship, the name of the game is to keep your nose clean, and steer clear of the biff and barge out there.

“I’ve raced at Eastern Creek once before and that was in a Honda, so I know which way the track goes, and it shouldn’t be too hard getting up to speed in a Commodore Cup car.

“We’ve given the engine a bit of a freshen up since Winton, so that should give us an extra kick down the pit straight, so I think we’ll be quick.”

Sydneysider Tom Tweedie will be looking to uphold Australia’s honour in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, with only four points separating Tweedie, Briton Ben Barker, and New Zealander Mitch Evans with six races remaining in the season.

Barker is on a roll, having taken out the two most recent rounds, while Tweedie had an up and down meeting at Morgan Park, with a mixed bag of results including a first, second and a fourth place finish.

The third and final heat saw Tweedie make a dramatic charge through the field, after electrical problems relegated him to the rear of the grid for the race start.

Tweedie’s race included a 220 km/h wheel banging duel with Zhang Shan Qi, and a late race spin while trying to get by Chris Gilmour for a podium position.

“When we got back from Morgan Park we found out that there wasn’t too much damage, so our sights are definitely set on Eastern Creek,” Tom Tweedie said.

“It’s our home track, I’ve done lots of laps around there, and I know it like the back of my hand.

“We had a test session before Morgan Park, and we went quicker than we ever have, so it all bodes very well.

“The newer ’07 model cars should have an aerodynamic advantage at Eastern Creek, but we’re still very positive, and I think we can stick to Ben and Mitch over the weekend.

“With a few more drivers thrown into the mix it will really spice things up, Chris (Gilmour) is always very quick, and some of the other guys have the ability to spring a surprise.

“The season finishes at Sandown, and that’s an event we can probably win.

“The way the season has gone we’re not going to stop pushing, anyone can win, and we’re very confident.”

The resurgent Shannons V8 Touring Car National Series will be making a long awaited return to the circuit, with several new local teams expected to nominate for the first time this season.

Tony Evangelou wasn’t intending on campaigning in the full Series, but the Victorian has been hooked on the close competition, and currently heads the title chase with a 71 point advantage after three rounds.

Tasmanian Sam Walter and local Scott Loadsman will be making their V8 Touring Car debuts, and are expected to be front runners.

For Walter, Eastern Creek will be his third Shannons Nationals appearance this year, after running in the Australian Manufacturers Championships (Symmons Plains) and Commodore Cup (Winton).

Eastern Creek is going to be crucial in the championship hopes of many in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Mission Foods.

While Matt Kingsley came away from the opening round of the title with zero points to his name, the Queenslander has since proven unbeatable, registering nine-consecutive race victories.

Kingsley’s weapon of choice is one the of the oldest cars in the field, a 996 model, with the fast flowing layout at Eastern Creek playing more into the hands of the newer 997 model cars.

Roger Lago, a 997 pilot, is the only driver with a realistic chance of beating Kingsley to the title, as he currently sits 50 points adrift of the leader, with a possible 180 points still up for grabs.

The Kerrick Sports Sedan Series is set for a thrilling conclusion, with the battle at the front of the field heating up.

All of the top-three runners have essentially dropped a round, with James Sera (Saab) and Darren Hossack (Audi) locked on the top of the leader board, with Kerry Baily (Nissan 300ZX) only six points off the pace.

Sera made his tin-top debut at the second round of the Series at Mallala in May and was immediately on the pace, before dominating proceedings at the most recent round at Morgan Park, taking a clean sweep of the race victories, including the PPG Gearbox Dash for Cash.

Hossack meanwhile is looking to make amends, after mechanical gremlins struck the former champion down at Morgan Park.

The Audi driver did however win the Australian Superkart Championship in sensational circumstances, taking victory via a count-back, setting up a possible repeat of his twin-title feat in karts and cars from 2008.

Baily’s title hopes took a hit with an accident at Mallala, but he bounced back strongly in Queensland, and is looking to finish out the season in his tried and proven Nissan.

Phil Crompton (Mustang), Bob McLoughlin (Commodore) and Trent Young (Mazda RX7) are also strongly in title contention if any of the leading trio find trouble.

The normal Shannons Nationals categories at Eastern Creek will be complimented by two strong local acts, the New South Wales Formula Vees and the ever competitive PRB Clubmans.
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