Shannons SpeedSeries: Sandown - Round 1 Wrap Up
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Shannons SpeedSeries: Sandown - Round 1 Wrap Up

By Shannons - 16 February 2024

Photography | Motorsport Australia & Speed Shots Photography

The 2024 Shannons SpeedSeries kicked off in spectacular fashion at Victoria’s Sandown Raceway over the weekend, a strong fan turnout were treated to stunning weather, close racing and many off-track activations around the paddock.

Spectators were also treated to a rare opportunity to see race cars up close and personal on the start line, with grid walks open to ticket holders prior to Saturday’s Trans Am Race 1, and Sunday’s TCR Race 2.

Shannons Insurance events team were on the ground meeting and greeting customers face-to-face in the Shannons marquee, assisting with enquiries and taking the opportunity to share passion for motorsport with like-minded fans. Categories racing at Sandown were Supercheap Auto TCR Australia, Trico Trans Am, Meguiar’s Australian Production Car Series and Giti Australian Formula Open Series.


Ben Bargwanna established himself as an early contender for the 2024 series title claiming the opening round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Series, taking two wins from three races in his Hangcha sponsored Peugeot 308 TCR.

Bargwanna made the most of a strong start in Race 1 to beat pole-sitter and defending TCR series winner, Josh Buchan, to Turn 1. Once in clear air at the head of the field, Bargwanna controlled the race to win.

Internet sensation, Jordan Cox, benefited from a reverse grid start in Race 2 by storming to the lead on the opening lap, before successfully defending a late charge for victory from Clay Richards on the final lap. TCR newcomer, Ryan Casha, claimed the final step of the podium in his Valvoline Peugeot.

Bargwanna, Buchan and Cox were the main contenders for round victory leading into Race 3, but once again Bargwanna emerged victorious in his #71 entry after starting from pole position, beating home Buchan and Cox who completed the podium for both the race and round. Buchan was suffering fuel pressure issues in his Hyundai i30n, rendering him unable to challenge for the win but remained composed to hold P2 from Cox.

TCR Challenge honours went to Brad Harris who capped off his weekend inside the top-10 overall driving his Honda Civic FL5.

John Martin meanwhile was a late substitution for injured Will Harris, the international sports car driving ace stepping behind the wheel of the #76 Honda Civic with little notice Saturday following Harris’ decision to rest up following Friday practice.

Trans Am

Always popular, the Trico Trans Am Series had thrills and spills throughout the weekend, but successfully navigating the carnage was defending series winner, James Moffat, who absolutely dominated the weekend to take a clean sweep of races.

With a front row start in Race 1, Moffat proved too strong for Supercars ace, James Golding, as he took the lead on the run into Turn 1, guiding his Valvoline Mustang home to a 0.3s victory.

Races 2 and 3 followed a similar narrative, however a multi-car pileup at Turn 4 on the opening lap in the final race stood out as one of the highlights of the weekend.

Following contact between Golding and fellow Supercars racer Todd Hazelwood, a chain reaction caused nine cars to pile up on the left-hand side of the track, almost blocking the circuit. Following a Safety Car, Moffat controlled the field and maintained a gap of 0.5s to second placed, Elliott Cleary, with the Mustang of Jackson Rice flying the banner for Dream Racing following in third.

A consistent weekend elevated Jordan Boys to P3 for the weekend, one place ahead of Tim Slade.

Australian Production Car Series

Regular pairing Dean Campbell and Cameron Crick shared a new toy for the opening round of the Meguiar’s Australian Production Car Series, a BMW M2 Competition, racing it to immediate success claiming Class X and overall victories.

Having to replace their Mitsubishi Evo X following a heavy crash last year, Campbell and Crick each claimed a win in two of Saturday’s three races. The third victory went to Supercars hopeful, Jayden Ojeda, who teamed up with Simon Hodges in the striking BMW M4.

Campbell and Hodges found themselves behind the wheel for the 19-lap final race on Sunday, with a hot Melbourne summer’s day making track conditions slippery.

The M2 of Campbell took the early lead and was defending well from Hodges. The pressure was too much for Campbell who eventually fell behind Hodges after a slick move on the inside at Turn 9. Hodges’ lead, however, was to be short-lived, as his M4 began overheating due to trailing the Campbell car closely for several laps, forcing Hodges to slow down.

Campbell reclaimed the lead where he remained to win the fourth and final race of the weekend. The Sherrin brothers, Iain and Grant, also capitalised on Hodges’ mechanical issues to be P2 and P3.

The ever-popular Chevrolet Camaro of Nathan Callaghan and Chris Lillis took out Class A2, with Paolo Buccini proving too strong in his BMW M140i to claim Class A1.

Ben Gersekowski (BMW M3), and Allan Jarvis (VW Polo GTI) won class B2 and C respectively, whilst David Bailey was an unfortunate early retirement from the weekend following a massive crash at Turn 9 on Friday, ruling his Mini Cooper S R56 out for the weekend.

Australian Formula Open

Sandown erupted into life with the spectacle of open wheel wings and slicks racing, Gilmour Racing’s Kyle Evans proving too strong for his competitors in the Formula 3 class.

With Tim Macrow Racing’s Miles Bromley leading a team one-two on Saturday, he was in prime position to claim the third and final race of the weekend.

Bromley looked on track to do so, until a mistake saw him surrender the lead to Evans who was then able to convert his lead into an easy Sunday afternoon victory. Bromley managed P2 for the weekend thanks to his earlier weekend success, with Ryan Macmillan in third.

Chris Slusarski was in control in the effective Toyota Racing Series class, a strong finish in Race 3 putting him ahead of Matthew Roesler and Matthew Woodland, all driving Toyota-powered Tatuus FT-50s.

Isaac McNeill seized victory in Formula 4 category, beating Joanne Ciconte and Jayden Hamilton to victory with a sweep of victories in all three races.

Round 1 of the Shannons SpeedSeries was broadcast live and free on 7mate and its streaming platform, 7plus. In case you missed it, tune into 7plus if want to relive the action from Sandown.

Next stop for the Shannons SpeedSeries is Tasmania as it sets sails across Bass Strait for Round 2, the popular Race Tasmania event taking place at Symmons Plains Raceway just outside Launceston, March 15 – 17.