Pollicina thrilled with round win on milestone weekend

An incredible weekend at Sandown International Raceway will long remain in the memory of experienced Kumho V8 Touring Car Series driver, Jim Pollicina after claiming round honours on a milestone weekend.

The fourth round of the season marked the New South Welshman’s 55th round start, equalling a long-time record held by inaugural series champion, Chris Smerdon.

But while the milestone is a great achievement in itself, Pollicina’s performance at the iconic Victorian circuit was the standout attraction.

A race win, a further two podiums and a fastest lap was enough to award him with the outright round victory – finishing ahead of longtime friend, Ray Hislop and the impressive Tony Evangelou.

His first series win in 2023 also came on Sunday morning, where despite crossing the line in second place was promoted to first after a post-race penalty was handed to series leader, Jude Bargwanna.

A chaotic third race saw Pollicina seal the round victory with a third-place finish, being forced to work his way back through the grid after an earlier incident with Hislop.

Pollicina was thrilled to pick up both his first race, and round win of the year and will forever cherish the memories that came with it.

“It was a great, successful weekend,” Pollicina said.

“It was a bit of a topsy-turvy event with a lot of drivers having misfortunes and penalties and all sorts of things being applied, but it worked out well for us.

“We had our own back luck thrown in there too at times, but we are very happy with the end result.

“It was a very special event. Having the most round starts with three podiums, a fastest lap and winning the weekend – it will be one I will always remember.”

As for his Race 3 incident with Hislop, Pollicina was adamant that there were no hard feelings between the two friends.

“Being off pole in Race 3, I knew all I needed to do was finish in front of Ray. But I bombed the start pretty badly, which was uncharacteristic of me,” Pollicina explained.

“Unfortunately, later on I locked the brakes, Ray contacted me, and I got turned around, which was very disappointing but it all panned out correctly in the end.

“Ray and I are good mates; we shook hands and everything was okay. These things happen, there was no malice in it, it was just an unfortunate incident.”

The personal-best weekend for Pollicina sees him now sit second in the series standings, while also maintaining a comfortable lead in the Kumho Cup.

Ahead of the final round of the season at Supercheap Auto Bathurst International, the 58-year-old knew what had to be done to ensure he walks away with the title.

“For the Kumho Cup, we just need to not do anything silly at Bathurst. We have a significant lead there and we are in a very strong position,” Pollicina added.

“We are mathematically in the hunt for the outright title, we are in second and Jude has a 50-odd point lead, so all it takes is a mistake at Bathurst and it’s on.

“Jude has good speed, but like I said, anything can happen. If I can get the car to the end we will see how it plays out from there.”

The next round of Kumho V8 Touring Car Series will be at Supercheap Auto Bathurst International on 10-12 November as part of the final round of Shannons SpeedSeries.

Tickets for the event can be purchased here.