Vining and Freestone celebrate a Savy Sandown weekend
Sandown’s Round 6 of the Touring Car Masters welcomed fresh faces onto the podium with young-gun William Vining, and experienced racer, Paul Freestone, taking their Savy Motorsport prepared entries to weekend successes. Vining secured his maiden podium result after just six events with his Thunder Road Racing Australia Mustang, while Freestone continued a history of strong Sandown performances, taking the Pro-Amateur class honours in his Freestone’s Roadhaven Camaro.
Vining’s first competitive outing at Sandown Raceway came with a confidence, recent tests having evidenced a continual improvement in both vehicle and driver performance. Mustang ‘Jenny’ has become a strong race package, while Vining’s experience and confidence continue the steep learning curve under the pressure of Masters competition.
Opening the weekend on the verge of the top ten competition in 11th, Vining then went on to continue the strong competitive run with a side by side finish in Race 2, pipping Keene’s Porsche on the line by a mere tenth of a second, before bringing the weekend to a close with a back-to-back second in class finish in the Race 3 finale. Vining’s consistent performance and growing confidence to put his Thunder Road Racing Australia Mustang right at the heart of the on track battles, secured second place for the round in Pro-Sportsman (Class B), along with earning the rising star the Rare Spares Achievement Award, Vining thrilled with his progress, saying,
"I'm feeling really good. When we came into the series at the start of this year, we didn't know what to expect and it was pretty tough to get my head around, so to have put in the effort with a great team and now be making clear progress, it's really good.
"The car is feeling great after we made some changes in the practice sessions and they helped a lot with the car, meaning I felt more confident and could really have a go.
"Having had a great weekend here, and in a way seeing some payback on everyone’s efforts, Bathurst is next up and is going to be a tough one. I haven't done many laps there before, and we’ve never had ‘Jenny’ on the track there, but I think we will go well with the car doing what it needs to, and it comes down to me getting my eye in and time on the track."
Fellow Savy Motorsport personality, Paul Freestone, had been busy keeping his motoring eye in ahead of Round 6, recently completing an Austin Healey driving tour of the United Kingdom and Europe with wife and professional navigator, Christine.
Going into his third season with the Masters, Freestone was on the pace early, qualifying his Camaro on row three in fifth position, placing him at the heart of outright competition and confirming his place as one of the leading Pro-Amateur competitors. History shows Sandown successes for Freestone, the only event he completed during his maiden season in 2011, also taking his best round result of the season at Sandown Raceway in the following year.
A challenging season so far for the re-built #25 Chevrolet has turned around with Freestone achieving third, eighth and fourth in the three races across the Round 6 weekend. With the whole package finally seeming to come together for Freestone, Savy Motorsport and the Freestone’s Transport entry, the key of consistency was enough to see the #25 driver bring home the Pro-Amateur round honours in fourth position outright, Freestone edging closer to the outright top ten having completed just four events so far, with two rounds remaining, and there’s an air of confidence, with Freestone explaining,
"We’re learning a lot as we go and this weekend was great to have some success.
"In the second race, we dropped a couple of spots but still started in the top five for the last race so kept ourselves in the mix. When you finish behind the cars of Richards and Miedecke, that’s a pretty good day at the office, and in reality, unless they made a mistake, that’s as good as the car and the driver were going to go, so we are very happy with that.
"We have some ideas to make the car better and give it a few little tweaks before Bathurst, but we just have to work out how we can get further up the front with these strong Fords and Miedecke's Chevy.
"We’re looking forward, and we think that this series is a great mix for our businesses. I like the competitors, we have a dedicated crew who are our friends, I really like the racing, and I like to drive on the throttle, so it’s really something to keep enjoying."
The Touring Car Masters is proudly supported by Shannons Insurance, Rare Spares, the 2013 Australian Muscle Car Masters and Unique Cars magazine, with official suppliers Hoosier Tires and Australian Sports Marketing, and official technology partners Sandman Technical.