TCM STARS STRONG AT HIGHLANDS
Feb 1, 2015
ENZED Touring Car Masters frontrunner Keith Kassulke has charged into the top five of the Trans-Tasman battle between TCM and NZ ENZED Central Muscle Cars competitors, held at Highlands Park at the weekend.
Kassulke, driving his regular Savy Motorsport-prepared XB Falcon Coupe against the Central Muscle Car regulars, finished fourth in the 12-lap Trans-Tasman battle that was the feature of the Highlands Festival of Speed weekend.
PHOTO GALLERY: check out all the action from Highlands here.
CMC regular Dean Perkins won the race ahead of Australian GT and Porsche Carrera Cup regular Paul Kelly and NZ Super Touring frontrunner Angus Fogg, with Kassulke first of the Aussie contingent home.
The TCM brigade acquitted themselves superbly against the high-powered, lighter and more highly-modified Kiwi racers with 2007 TCM champion Steven Mason (Shelby Mustang) and Tony Karanfilovski (Ford Mustang Trans-Am) also featuring in the top-10.
Mason finished the race 9th and Karanfilovski 10th after the 12-lap distance.
Gary Treloar was the last TCM finisher, bringing his Treloar Roses / Outbound Racing HQ Monaro home in 17th position in the 25-car field.
New TCM signing Glenn Seton failed to complete more than the first lap in the Thunder Road Racing Mustang after he and Tony Karanfilovski suffered damage in the opening corner.
Seton's car suffered fuel system issues following the accident and was retired while Karanfilovski limped to the line in his overheating Mustang.
TCM and CMC competitors battled across five races at the weekend, though the finale’ settled the Trans-Tasman battle.
The opening four races included a mixture of wet and dry weather conditions and also handicap-style feature events.
Karanfilovski qualified best of the TCM contingent, scoring 4th outright behind Dean Perkins, Paul Kelly and Tony Galbraith on Friday.
Keith Kassulke (6th), Glenn Seton (7th) also featured in the top-10 while Carey McMahon qualified his SL/R 5000 Torana 12th, one position in front of Steve Mason.
Of the remaining TCM contingent, Garry Treloar qualified 25th and Wayne Mercer 26th.
Seton (4th) and Mason (6th) featured strongly in race one, while Treloar was the best of the Aussie squad in race two, scoring 7th in a handicapped affair, starting amongst the third group released and using a drying track to his advantage to charge through the field.
Seton and Kassulke both suffered steering damage following unfortunate contact on the opening lap, both retiring.
Race three was the second reverse-grid, handicap affair and brought mixed fortunes for the TCM contingent with Mason the best of the Aussies, in 12th. Unfortunately Mercer and McMahon endured damage and failed to finish after tangling with the pit straight wall.
Rebounding from alternator issues earlier in the weekend, Tony Karanfilovski scored a surging 6th outright in race four, edging out Seton (7th) and Kassulke in 8th. Mason (15th) and Treloar (19th) also finished the final sprint.
Keith Kassulke set the fastest time by TCM competitors of the weekend, his 1m48.621s set in race four the best of the weekend. By contrast, the two fastest CMC cars of Paul Kelly and Angus Fogg lapped consistently in the low 1m45-second range throughout the weekend.
The ENZED Touring Car Masters ‘Kiwi Contingent’ thanks the support of the Central Muscle Car competitors and Highlands Motorsport Park promoters for their hospitality across the weekend.
The opening round of the 2015 ENZED Touring Car Masters Series will be held at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide between February 26 – March 1.
Report filed with thanks to updates from Savy Motorsport on Facebook - check them out here.