Stephen Vines Sandown race two report

Vines Swims To Top Ten At Soggy Sandown A great wet weather drive by Stephen Vines earned him a top ten position in today's rain marred 2nd race of the Australian Sports Sedan Championship final at Melbourne's Sandown International ...

Vines Swims To Top Ten At Soggy Sandown

A great wet weather drive by Stephen Vines earned him a top ten position in today's rain marred 2nd race of the Australian Sports Sedan Championship final at Melbourne's Sandown International Raceway.

Starting from 18th on the grid after yesterday's electrical problems, Vines pushed through to eighth in what the young Melbourne driver described as the toughest race of his career.

An exhausted Vines said the race was incredibly draining but also very rewarding. "I think anybody who finished out there today is a winner" said Vines. "It's one of the only wet races I've ever driven in, but I loved the challenge and the support of all the Ford fans in the crowd."

Stephen's 5.6 litre Cortina V8 is one of the only all Ford cars running in the Chev dominated series.

"Visibility was tough out there and I had a few interesting moments but all up I'm happy with the results."he said.

Vines, whose ambition is to race in the US based Trans Am series said the team was looking forward to a short break before preparing for next years assault on the Victorian Motor Racing Championships.

Car owner Joe Pirotta was delighted with the performance of his driver. "He's done a great job, It was very tough out there but in the worst of conditions I think he's shown everyone what a good driver he is'" said Joe.

Pirotta is looking for sponsorship for 2002 to help Vines realise his Trans Am dream, possibly by bringing one of the US based cars to Australia for next years National Championship.

A meeting, held at the track today has opened the way for the US based cars to run in next years national series. Vines said that to have the first genuine Trans Am car in Australia would be a great marketing tool and would give him the chance to get experience in the car before a possible Stateside move in the future.

"Of course we'd love to have a Mustang as we have lots of experience with Ford and the 5 litre V8 engine" he said.

The race at Sandown today was marred by several big accidents on the slippery track and an amazing 260 KPH escape by ex Formula Ford star Luke Youlden whose car spun wildly on the fast Sandown main straight without hitting the wall.

South Australian Mick Montorroso in the Escort RS6000 Chev held off a late charge by new Aussie Champion Tony Ricciardello in the Alfa. Youlden recovered for third.

-svr/pitlane-

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