Yet another Australian title for Tulloch
He's still got it.
Eastern Southland businessman and former Gore mayor Ian "Inky" Tulloch has extended his impressive motorsport CV by adding yet another Australian title to his collection.
The veteran driver teamed up with Australian driver Stuart Kostera as part of the TMR racing team to win the Australian Manufacturers Endurance Championship series.
The championship series was held over five rounds, the last of them at Sandown in Melbourne during the weekend.
"It is nice to have another Australian title and we've won three truck race titles, that was 2000 to 2002, and now 10 years later we've managed to snatch another one," Tulloch said.
"I don't know how many more there will be, if any, but I'm still enjoying it."
Going into Sunday's final race at Sandown, Tulloch and Kostera needed to finish in the top six in their Evo 10 to ensure them of the championship win.
Tulloch got off to a good start, taking the wheel in the first stint of the race, before Kostera stepped into the hot seat and extended the lead.
However, some fuel problems late in the race meant they crawled over the line in second but that was still enough to claim the championship crown.
"We just got pipped on the line because of fuel starvation, the car started running out of fuel, so we just trickled over the line," Tulloch said. "Maybe the boys didn't get the fuel calculation quite right, we're not sure if it was that or a fuel pump packing up."
Tulloch and Kostera won the same title last year and their repeat win was further proof of Tulloch's enduring title-winning ability across the Tasman.
Tulloch said he considered this year's success a much bigger achievement than 12 months ago because the standard and competitiveness of racing had increased immensely.
"We had a lot easier run last season.
"There wasn't the competition and the car ran faultlessly and it was a relatively no brainer, but this year has been really tough."
Tulloch believed the landscape of racing in Australia was shifting and would become more pronounced in the next couple of years.
"It was the emergence of the BMW - an M1 - that actually pipped us at the finish yesterday," he said.
"It's the first time a two-wheel [drive] car has beaten the four-wheel drives for effectively two seasons.
"So this generation of traction-control BMWs and all that stuff, is going to change the face of endurance racing in Australia over the next year or two, I think."
Tulloch is unsure of his next competitive assignment but he has already had some interest come his way since his latest successful stint in Australia.
"It's quite flattering to be approached by a couple of teams to drive with them next year, so who knows."
The Southland Times