12 May 2023 | General

Tilley starts V8TC life on a high

The new era of the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series is officially underway after the completion of two practice sessions at Phillip Island as part of the Shannons SpeedSeries on Friday.

The opening day of the season proved quite a close battle on the timesheets in both sessions, highlighted by third to sixth being covered by only three-tenths of a second in the morning session.

Notlaw Racing’s Jamie Tilley claimed the fastest time outright in that session after posting a dominant lap of 1:35.61, which was a whole second faster than the second-placed Ray Hislop of RHM/Nulon.

A further eight tenths off in third was rival Jim Pollicina, who edged out Tony Evangelou, Antonio Molluso and newcomer Jude Bargwanna.

Tilley then made it two from two in the afternoon, improving from his opening practice time by four-tenths of a second, however this time it was Bargwanna who was leading the chasing pack after finishing one-second behind the leader.

Unfortunately, Bargwanna had a disappointing end to the session despite finishing second as he ended up in the gravel after he hit a dip at turn one and broke a steering a pin on his Ford Falcon – the session being rad flagged as a result.

Despite the damage, the car is expected to be ready for qualifying Saturday morning.

Finishing the session in third was Pollicina, after finishing ahead of Hislop by the narrowest of margins, whilst Tony Auddino rounded out the top five.

Following the second session, Tilley was thrilled to finish on top of the timesheets having learnt more and more about the car on every lap.

“I got a fair bit out of it. It’s all a new learning curve for me as I’m used to more power and no brakes so I’m still getting the hang of it,” Tilley said.

“There a few corners I’d like to fix up – this is the first time I have run a V8 Touring Car, with my first couple of laps being a couple of weeks ago, so I’m enjoying it.

“There’s still always more to go, you never get the perfect lap so there’s still bits to find, you can always improve and that never really ends.

“I’m hoping to finish in the top couple of positions and have a clean car at the end of it, and have as much fun as I can.

The category will take the track for the qualifying session first thing Saturday morning, before once again taking the track for the first race later in the afternoon.