13 May 2023 | General

Bargwanna has dream start to V8 life

Jude Bargwanna has made a dream start to his debut weekend in the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series, taking out the opening race in convincing fashion.

The teenager set the benchmark early in the day, claiming pole position in qualifying ahead of Jamie Tilley and Ray Hislop – an impressive feat considering it was only his third-ever lap after finding the gravel at the end of the final practice session.

Jacob Khouri then found himself in the tyre barrier at turn two – ultimately ending the session early under a red flag and was unable to fix the car in time for the race.

Bargwanna was slow off the line in his first ever series start as he dropped to third behind Jim Pollicina on his tail and Tilley, however it wasn’t long before the 18-year-old moved back up to second after a brilliant move on Tilley.

Bargwanna wasn’t done there either, making a late braking dive down the inside of Pollicina at turn one to take back the lead of the race, an incredible move considering the lack of experience behind the wheel of a V8.

Pollicina then found himself behind both Tilley and Hislop, before working his way back in front of the latter – the pair alternating positions during the race before it took a turn with three laps to go when Hislop misjudged a corner and found himself facing the wrong way.

When it all looked said and done, Tilley surrendered his second place after a tyre failure on the final lap – promoting Pollicina into second place.

Ahead of them, it was Bargwanna who eased his way to the lead, crossing the line 24 seconds clear of Pollicina and backing the claim as one of the hottest prospects in V8 motorsport.

Bargwanna was thrilled with his performance despite not having many opportunities to test in the car before this weekend.

“To step into a supercar, it’s a lot faster than anything I have ever driven, it’s a massive stepping stone but we are happy to be here, and to take number one today it meant a lot,” Bargwanna said.

“We had limited testing, so having Friday as my first time in the car in the dry and then to come to Phillip Island and take the win on debut it is very special.”

The Kumho V8 Touring Car Series will return for their second race of the weekend on Sunday at 9:50am AEST.