16 November 2015
The Sherrin Rentals Racing team has claimed a host of accolades at the final round of the 2015 Australian Manufacturers Championship *held at Sydney Motorsport Park at the weekend), including the prestigious Australian Production Car Championships.
Alongside the ‘big trophy’ – awarded to Grant Sherrin in the #18 Sherrin Rentals Racing BMW135i – the team also took home the Class B Australian Production Car Championship (Grant Sherrin), the Class B Australian Endurance Championship (Grant Sherrin), the Amchamps Teams Award (Grant and Iain Sherrin), and the Class B victory in today’s Australian 4 Hour race (Grant and Iain Sherrin) for a total trophy haul of 7 between the two drivers.
The victory did not come easy, with a big week of repairs following damage to the #18 at the Winton 300 last week, followed up with two seized turbo wastegates over Friday and Saturday, plus a host of gremlins related to the Winton damage. At the same time, the team was reeling from the fact that the #19 Sherrin Rentals Racing BMW135i suffered a weekend-ending crash during Friday practice with Michael Sherrin at the wheel – whilst the car was unable to be repaired at the track for the Australian 4 Hour, Michael Sherrin emerged relatively unscathed.
Come Sunday, the drama continued. Grant Sherrin started the race and ran at the pointy end early, and just laps in their nearest championship rival at the time – Beric Lynton – retired from the race with a rogue engine plug causing issues for that team.
Later he would hand over to Iain Sherrin and all appeared well, however, soon into his rein a bolt would snap on the suspension arm sending the #18 into the garage for repairs, dropping the entry down the order.
From there, it was a battle to get back to fifth spot – as their now nearest title rival Rick Bates was in second position and this was the lowest they could finish and still take the title if Bates was to cross the line in that same position.
With 20 minutes to go, Iain handed the car back to Grant in seventh position and two laps down from fifth, and the task seemed almost insurmountable.
However, as the old adage says, anything can happen, and only moments later it was revealed that the Bates Evo had been running with a compromised engine, with the car ‘over cooking’ at the 15 minute mark to be out of the race – leaving the Sherrins to finish the race and claim the outright title along with the Class B title, the teams title, the Class B AEC title, and the Class B victory for the race.
“It was just crazy,” said Iain Sherrin, who along with Grant and the rest of the team thanks their valued sponsors Tyres 4 U, Hi-Tec Oils, Sci-Fleet, Clark Equipment, Sherrin Rentals and Sherrin Equipment.
“It was up and downs and just nerve-wracking. For most of the year I have started the races and it was nerve-wracking not being in the car at the start, so I was really happy to get in the car and get going. I felt really good and the times were coming down, and then I had that problem and felt that sway bar arm break the bolt going through turn one – that was a bit of fun, it certainly caught my attention,” laughed Iain Sherrin.
“When I pulled into the garage and the boys started going to work on it, all the bad thoughts started going through my head, but I just said to myself I will go out there and drive it as hard as I can, and that is what I did and it worked out in the end.
“To not only win this, but to do it as a Class B car as well which we believe hasn’t been done before, is just fantastic. It is amazing and I can’t believe it. This is something we have been working towards for four years, and it is just unbelievable.”
For Grant Sherrin, the win is all about the team.
“After the week that this team has had, this feels really, really good,” said Grant Sherrin.
“It feels especially great as it is something that we have been working towards for a number of years, and it is just amazing. What the team has done today especially after the last few days and the last week is just fantastic.
“There were some big efforts there from key people, and especially Dave (Ayres), Jimmy (Flanagan – team engineer) and Michael (Sherrin); and in the pit stops the guys were unbelievable and they have been all year long, and Iain has done a fantastic job co-driving with me.
“At the end of the day, this is not my championship, it is everyone’s championship, and it is something we will always remember.”
Sherrin Racing will next be on-track at Bathurst’s Mount Panorama in February for the Bathurst 6 Hour, before returning to the Australian Manufacturers Championship and also the Wakefield 300, Queensland 300 and Winton 300 in 2016.
Sherrin Racing is proudly supported by valued sponsors Tyres 4 U, Hi-Tec Oils, Sci-Fleet, Clark Equipment, Sherrin Rentals and Sherrin Equipment. For more on Sherrin Racing, including news, upcoming events and photo galleries, please go to sherrinracing.com.au, or visit the team on Facebook at facebook.com/SherrinRacing
Image credits – James Smith