TCM WINTON NOTEBOOK
May 17, 2017
THE SECOND round of the 2017 Touring Car Masters title chase will see the series return to Winton Raceway, in country Victoria, for the fourth straight year.
Winton is a great track for TCM, with the twisty bits meaning that the cars with slightly less capacity are always very competitive – so watch out for the Valliant Pacer and Porsche 911s to be particularly quick at this place.
There’s been a lot going on during the long break between rounds since the season opener in Adelaide, so here’s a few notes to bring you up to speed with everything going on in the Touring Car Masters paddock ahead of Round 2 at Winton.
Like many TCM circuits, Winton has been a happy hunting ground for John Bowe.
The Holden Torana driver has won 12 races at the venue, from the 18 contested. He’s also never been beaten for pole position there and holds the race and qualifying lap records.
Bowe’s car has had an aesthetic upgrade for this round, now sporting the A9X flares as used by Gomersall’s hatchback.
The flares were made eligible for the four-door cars this year, however it’s purely a visual change – there’s no change to the wheel width or track on the fast Holdens.
Bob Wisley's car has also had a visual tune-up, now sporting a full 1976 Bathurst 1000 livery. It looks amazing.
Jim Richards will unfortunately miss the Winton round this weekend.
The Shannons AMC Javelin was damaged in the lap one crash in Adelaide, while his Falcon sprint is currently not race ready. The two-time TCM champion will return in the Falcon at Hidden Valley, in June.
John Bowe out-qualified Jason Gomersall for pole by just 0.082s last year – the 11th closest pole margin in series history.
Second remains Jason’s best ever qualifying performance in TCM, and he’s done it quite a few times.
His first TCM front row start came in the final round of the 2014 season at Phillip Island, with his next P2 at Winton last year. That set off a train of four consecutive P2 qualifying performances – three of them to Bowe.
Gomersall finished second to Bowe in the first two races of last year’s Winton round, his best TCM race finishes to date.
Melinda Price’s addition to the TCM grid adds to the tradition of fast females in the category.
Adelaide’s Amanda Sparks is a former ProSports class winner in a Porsche 911, while Leanne Tander was the first female race winner in TCM when she powered her XA Falcon to victory to a win in the third race at Bathurst in 2010.
Leanne’s best race result came at Winton earlier that year when she finished third overall – in the same car that Price will drive this weekend.
Steven Johnson will be looking forward to the weekend with the knowledge that the Ford Mustang is still the most successful TCM model at Winton.
In the hands of John Bowe, Gavin Bullas and Glenn Seton Mustangs have won nine times at the Victorian circuit.
Interestingly, Mustangs have finished third in the last seven straight TCM races at Winton.
Round 1 ProAm class winner Adam Bressington celebrated his big 50th birthday on May 7!
Bresso returns in the Whiteline Raing / Fabre Chevrolet Camaro this weekend with a narrow lead over Andrew Fisher in the ProAm standings.
Both Whiteline cars look their immaculate best ahead of a round where the team has traditionally performed well.
Adam Garwood and Garwood Motorsport tested at Hobart’s Baskerville Raceway recently and had some experts on hand to help – suspension guru Murray Coote of MCA suspension was on hand to lend his experience to the dynamics of their Holden Torana.
The team has switched to a spare Holden engine for this weekend, after their Adelaide powerplant was found to be down on compression. Working on a Chev engine for Darwin.
Meanwhile, Adam’s mum Luana Garwood spent the Targa Tasmania in the Porsche tour, navigating for Alex Davison.
Jesus Racing Team took their life choices program to Perth recently, visiting 1500 school kids in four days!
5x TCM cars recently paid a visit to Mackay’s 2017 Motor Show, including John Bowe’s Torana, Jason Gomersall’s A9X, Bob Wislely’s Torana, Darren Beale’s HQ GTS and Steven Johnson’s Mustang.
A charity auction raised $25K for the black dog institute and Grape Vine (youth suicide prevention), with more yet to come.
Well done to the TCM representatives for their support of the show and the great cause.
In need of a new engine for Winton, Darren Beale’s team actually fitted a new 18-degree Chev 350 to the car at the show - which drew plenty of attention when they fired it up for the first time.
Wayne Mercer’s Falcon GTHO ‘Super Kylie’ has also had a new engine between rounds, with the blue rocket to enjoy some more grunt this weekend.
Wayne, now in his 7th year of racing, has signed a new sponsor in Shotton Lifts for this weekend which will hopefully help this tiny team – which is often just Wayne and Jesse at each round.
Peters Motorsport ready for their second TCM round with Ryan Hansford in their Holden Torana, after qualifying third in Adelaide on debut.
The team has made changes to the pedal box and seating position of the car after Ryan endured an uncomfortable driving position in the opening round, due to the late coming together of the team’s plans the team was unable to perfect the driving position in time for the Clipsal event.
The team tested at Queensland Raceway last week and has found gains in setup and with Ryan now comfy behind the wheel the Multispares Torana should be one to watch.
It’s not just Supercars revelling in the hype around November’s Coates Hire Newcastle 500 – TCM’s Novocastrian contingent is as well.
Steve and Cameron Mason has been drawing plenty of support ahead of their first ever home TCM race later this year, with existing sponsors Hercules competition engines, F3 Motor Auctions, The Lucky Hotel and fresh sponsors are Total Fire Solutions, Doyle Partners accountants, Lake Macquarie Sheet Metal and Hunter Laser Tattoo Removal.
The team also has an upgraded livery for Winton and new team Merch – as Cam says, “It's all happening here in the steel city!”