SIMPSON TAKES KUMHO SERIES OPENER
Simon Tabinor spun into the gravel at turn seven on the same lap bringing out the Safety Car for a two-lap intervention whilst the car was recovered.
His misfortune elevated Justin Ruggier to second on his Kumho series race debut and the gamer-turned-racer was able to hold out local hope and former series champion Chris Smerdon following the restart.
Simpson was never troubled following the restart and comfortably led the final three racing laps home to record his 10th career race win equal to former champion Josh Hunter and Tony Evangelou for third on the all-time list.
Simpson also broke the existing Mallala race lap record setting a new benchmark of 1m10.1865s on lap 3. Scott Loadsman held the previous benchmark set in 2011.
Matt Palmer finished a strong fourth and Gerard McLeod fifth after making a late call to compete this weekend in Palmers second ex-Brad Jones Racing BF Falcon.
V8 Ute Racer Craig Dontas finished sixth ahead of Shane Hunt Chris Delfsma Lyle Kearns and Steve Briffa.
Briffa had run third on the opening lap however was shuffled back to fifth on the fourth lap after Ruggier and then Tabinor worked their way past. He later ran off the road at turn five and dropped back to his eventual finishing position on the edge of the top 10.
The Kumho V8 Touring Cars Series returns for a further two races to complete the opening round on Sunday with both races to be streamed live viawww.thenationals.com.au