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V8 Touring Cars field revealed for Phillip Island

THE field for the return of the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series has been set, with more entries expected to flood in over the course of the year.

A total of 11 Blueprint-era Supercars will roar around Phillip Island this weekend as part of the Shannons SpeedSeries event there.

Jude Bargwanna, Jamie Tilley and Antonio Molluso will duke it out for championship honours, with familiar faces such as Jim Pollicina also in action.

“We’re excited about the return and what is essentially a rebirth of the Kumho Series with Phillip Island the first big piece in the puzzle of bringing it back,” said Australian Racing Group chief operating officer Liam Curkpatrick.

“It’s going to be a process of gradual reintroduction as the year progresses but the response has been really positive.

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“The most pleasing aspect to us is the mixture of new and returning faces and building that balance between being a place for young guns to learn how to drive the cars, and the privateer runners having a fun place to race.

“We see that this weekend with Jude making his V8 debut, someone young but a bit more experienced like Jamie Tilley coming into the category and then experienced guys like Jim Pollicina and Ray Hislop coming back.

Jim Pollicina at Bathurst last year. Pic: Nathan Wong

“It’s a good mixture that will only develop as the season goes on.

“In a way we’re going back to the future with the change back to the Kumho tyre and a mixture of retaining some existing competitors and some returning to the series having been out of it for a while.”

Curkpatrick tipped the field to double in size in a matter of months.

“A lot of cars have not run for a long time and there’s a process to bringing them back and some fell short for Phillip Island, so will return later in the year,” he said.

“Eleven cars is a solid start, but the indications are that we’ll have between 16 to 18 ready by Winton in a few weeks and should be approaching the low 20s by the time we get to Queensland Raceway in August. 

“We’ve had conversations with several Super2 teams who are looking at running cars later in the year, when we get to Sandown and then Bathurst for the final round, and if they all come off it could be a really large grid.

“Either way it’s about offering a really solid product that has bang for the buck and makes these car owners want to bring their cars back out onto the circuit.

“We’ve certainly seen enough that it was the right call to make the call and bring it back.”

Entry list: 2023 Kumho V8 Touring Car Series, Round 1, Phillip Island

NumberClassSponsorDriverCar
4Kumho CupRightway IndustrialTony AuddinoFord BF Falcon
5Kumho CupMR HDT Race CarsJacob KhouriFord BF Falcon
6Kumho CupANT RacingTony EvangelouFord BA Falcon
7Kumho CupMoComm Motorsports CommunicationsJim PollicinaHolden VE Commodore
11TBAMR HDT Race CarsTBAHolden VE II Commodore
23Kumho CupRHM / NulonRay HislopFord FG Falcon
50ChampionshipBurson Auto PartsAntonio MollusoFord FG Falcon
57ChampionshipNotlaw RacingJamie TilleyFord FG Falcon
62Kumho CupTeam62Derek HockingHolden VE Commodore
67Kumho CupMR HDT Race CarsPeter AboodHolden VE Commodore
79ChampionshipAnderson MotorsportJude BargwannaFord FG Falcon
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