Older and Wiser Win through as 2013 Shannons Supercar Showdown Begins


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SYDNEY – Sept 16, 2013: Age and experience beat youthful exuberance in the first challenge faced by eight V8 Supercar hopefuls when the Shannons Supercar Showdown returned to 7mate on Saturday for its third series.

In the first of eight episodes, V8 Ute racer Craig Dontas (33) and Formula Three driver Tim Macrow (31) gave their younger rivals a lesson in cool-headed car control by mastering a challenging motorkhana course against the clock with no penalties.

Under the show’s new format, Dontas and Macrow scored maximum points for their respective teams, each comprising four rookies headed by Ford Performance Racing’s V8 Supercar drivers and team captains Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison.

The motorkhana was the first of many challenges that will be conducted at Melbourne’s Calder Park Raceway over coming weeks to test the V8 rookies’ mental and physical skills as they compete for the ultimate prize - a testing contract with FPR plus a drive in the Dunlop Series in a Shannons-sponsored V8 Supercar.

There are no driver eliminations this time. Each challenge carries points that the contestants must accumulate - just as they would if chasing victory in the V8 Supercars Championship.

The top point scorers from Team Winterbottom and Team Davison will go through to the finals.

And in a surprise twist, Mark and Will must also pick another contestant from each of their teams to go through. This is called the Captain’s Choice and is sure to create plenty of controversy.

Saturday’s first episode introduced viewers to the contestants representing diverse age groups and backgrounds, as they were thrust into the motorkhana challenge which carried harsh 10-second penalties for driving errors.

Team Davison went first, with a nervous 16-year-old Todd Hazelwood aboard the Ford Fastrack Racing Challenge Car being penalised for stalling the engine and not following course instructions.

After Tim Macrow’s faultless performance, 24-year-old British Formula Ford racer Adrian Campfield was also penalised for making a wrong turn, before Macauley Jones (18-year-old son of V8 Supercar veteran Brad Jones) blotted his scorecard by striking a witches hat.

Craig Dontas excelled for Team Winterbottom with a fast and faultless drive while his three younger team-mates James Golding (17), UK Formula Ford racer Dan Cammish (24) and the only female rookie Chelsea Angelo (17) all incurred time penalties for driving errors.

Dontas and Macrow now lead the points chase as the eight V8 Supercar rookies face their second challenge next week. Will age and experience continue to be the winning formula? Or will one of the fast but flustered young guns be able to control their nerves and prove they’ve got what it takes?

Don’t miss the Shannons Supercar Showdown next Saturday on 7mate (check local guides for times).

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