HANSFORD TOPS A WET WINTON FRIDAY
May 19, 2017
RYAN HANSFORD needed changes to his driving position before round two of the 2017 Touring Car Masters this weekend at Winton – and there’s no doubt the changes have made the Queenslander plenty comfortable in his Holden Torana.
Hansford powered his Multispares Racing SL/R 5000 to the fastest time in practice today at Winton, despite torrentially wet conditions across a pair of 20-minute sessions.
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The Peters Racing driver had struggled throughout the opening round with discomfort due to a seating position too close to his steering wheel but a revised seating position and pedal box seem to have done the trick so far this weekend.
Hansford’s 1m46.176s lap was not only 1.7 seconds faster than next-fastest Steven Johnson, but would have remarkably also put him 23rd of 29 cars in the Supercars session held just prior to TCM’s second practice.
Hansford’s Holden Torana topped a group of three fast Fords in the quicker second session: Johnson slid his WM Waste Mustang to second place while Eddie Abelnica was third on his return to TCM - having missed the opening round in Adelaide.
Tony Karanfilovski was fourth, the Sydneysider a former winner at Winton and again showing strong form.
Revelling in the wet conditions, Sven Burchartz was fifth outright in his IROC Challenge Porsche 911, while teammate Rohan Little was seventh in his Porsche entry.
The IROC Challenge runners will be praying for wet conditions this weekend, the light, nimble 911s always competitive on an outright level when the rain comes to TCM.
Splitting the Porsche’s was the Torana A9X of Jason Gomersall, while John Bowe (8th), Adam Garwood and Andrew Fisher completed the top-10.
Earlier in the day, Hansford topped the first practice session – again ahead of Johnson and Abelnica – however the practice two times were faster for all bar one competitor (Wayne Mercer) than the first session.
Of those with notable dramas, Adam Bressington’s first session was cut short with a broken exhaust header in his Whiteline Racing / Fabre Chevrolet Camaro, before he elected to sit on the sidelines in the wetter second session.
Bruce Williams was 8th in practice one, however only managed two laps in the second session due to visibility issues in his newly-sponsored ACDelco Holden. Leo Tobin, meanwhile, had electrical issues in his THD Motorsport Ford Mustang 302 that limited his potential running.
Aside from some brief installation laps on old tyres, Melinda Price didn’t run today however will look forward to her TCM debut in what will hopefully be dry conditions tomorrow.
Qualifying and the first of three races will be held on Saturday as part of the Winton SuperSprint event.
COMBINED TIMES - PRACTICE (WINTON)