SUNDAY 7 OCTOBER 2012
ALLAN JOINS LEGENDARY TEAM DJR FOR SANDOWN AND BATHURST

Allan Simonsen has spent more time on long haul flights this year than any other in his racing career, thanks to having not only a V8 Supercar enduro program but one in the Australian GT Championship.

Throw in a couple of sudden trips to Asia for guest drives in Carrera Cup and you can be sure he's going to be ready for a nice Christmas rest after demolishing a traditional Danish roast duck.

On a positive note, Allan is back up to platinum status, which lets him enjoy first class airline lounges!

For 2012 the pre-Bathurst enduro reverts from Phillip Island back to Sandown, a move that has been applauded by all concerned.

Whilst Phillip Island is much more of a racers track, Sandown, with its close proximity to the heart of Melbourne, is far more fan friendly, which allows a view of the entire circuit from the historic grandstand. It's also a track Allan knows extremely well, having won the Australian GT Championship there a few years prior.

Joining the legendary Dick Johnson Racing squad, partnering Steve Johnson, especially for the 50th anniversary of the Bathurst 1000, is certainly a highlight in anyones career.

The strategy for an enduro is to keep on the lead lap, look after your tyres and make sure you have enough fuel left for that inevitable 5 lap sprint to the flag, which seems to always happen, thanks to a late safety car period.

Except this year. Whilst both Sandown and Bathurst had a huge battle for the lead, right at the end (Whincup & Frosty @ Sandown, Whincup & Reynolds @ Bathurst), each enduro seemed to be much more of a sedate affair.

Sandown should have been a better result, but the die was cast early on, when Allan received a drive through penalty early on, for allegedly forcuing Christien Klien off at Turn 9. Such variability form the stewards is well known and a bone of contention for many. When Jason Bright shunted the back of Johny Reid's car on a restart, effectively finishing the New Zealanders race, no one batted an eyelid, Bright going about his regular business. Allan and Steve would finish 21st.

Bathurst was a much better affair, initially, after qualifying 18th, Allan found himself in 9th place after the second fuel stop, only to have that come undone later in the race.

With Allan churning out some of the best consistent times he has ever delivered at Bathurst, things were looking very promising for a P6 or P7 finish.

Now with Steve in the #18 racer, still running at the front, a tyre delaminated, six laps from when the scheduled pitstop was due. That forced the early stop, effectively throwing the fuel cycles out the window.

Also running off the same fueling gantry was the #17 car of Moffat and Alex Davison, who were indecive as to when they should stop. When Alex did actually pit, the team was not prepared and it was also a moment before the scheduled stop for Allan.

That caused a huge delay, having to service the #17 car first. To make matters worse, Alex stalled the car when leaving the pit box, adding further time to what was already a damaging pit stop. From there on, it was an uphill battle and Allan and Steve finished 17th, one spot better than they started, in what was a rather processional race at the Mountain.

Clearly the pace had been there yet the cards fell the wrong way this year.