MEDIA RELEASE 19 October 2011 – Seven drivers vying for crown at final round

In a season that’s provided plenty of twists and turns, the 2011 NSW Production Touring Car Championship presented by Pollicina Motorsports and Wicked Energy Drinks will reach its dramatic conclusion this weekend at Eastern Creek with seven drivers across three classes in contention for the title.

With an entry list of 26 cars already entered, it’s sure to be one of the most hotly contested championship battles to date in the almost decade long history of Production Touring Cars. Having led the entire season and missing the last round at Wakefield Park in August, Pro-Duct’s Bob Pearson heads into the weekend as the championship leader but only by a slender margin of one point. His non-appearance at the Wakefield Park round, which culminated in the MoComm Cup, allowed a number of his rivals to eat chunks into his series lead. Most notably, the man who benefitted the most was Tony Virag. He now sits behind Pearson by that single point and can capitalise if Pearson falters.

Also capitalising despite missing most of the last round was Geoff Kite. The English-born driver has been a regular frontrunner in Class B all season and has benefitted greatly with the points structure that’s in place for championship. Although he suffered clutch dramas all weekend and made the MoComm Cup on the Sunday morning before the race to finish fourth in class, he scored enough points to stay in touch and sit third outright, seven points behind Pearson. The only other driver that has a realistic chance to win is Rod Thorpe, who has been one of the biggest improvers of this season in his HSV VY GTS. A number of top five finishes sees him 13 points behind Pearson going into this weekend, but could benefit on finishing higher up if any of them fail.

The next three drivers have mathematical chances of winning the championship and need to rely on good luck on their side and bad luck on the others. Class C leader Azim Sahu-Khan currently sits fifth on 110 points, with Class B competitors Paul Lane in sixth on 109 and Paul Loiacono on 102.

Of the 25 competitors this weekend, a few make returns for the final round. They include 2009 champion Jim Pollicina in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, Dr Anton Metchler in his Evo VIII example, Jim Hunter in his Subaru WRX STi, fresh from a successful run at the Sepang 12 Hour with Gerry Murphy and Matthew Reid in his Lancer Evo V, who is having his first competitive run in 12 months. He last competed in last year’s final round in a Proton Satria GTi leased from Chris Reeves.

This weekend also marks the final round of the Production Touring Cars Club Championship, with up to seven drivers challenging for the top prize. Qualifying for the final round begins on Saturday morning at 11am with the first race at approximately 5pm. Races two and three will be held on Sunday at 11:55am and 4pm respectively.

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