CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE – TWO ROUNDS TO GO
Sep 2, 2019
WITH TWO rounds and six races to go, the 2019 Paynter Dixon Touring Car Masters fight is shaping up to be one of the closest yet.
As he has done since the opening round on the streets of Adelaide, Steven Johnson remains atop the leaderboard however his margin is now reduced to 60 points with racing at Bathurst and Sandown yet to come.
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A consistent weekend in Sydney saw the WM Waste Ford finish fourth overall to take a 60-point – exactly one race victory - lead over John Bowe into Bathurst next month.
Bowe had his best weekend of the season however the value of finishing every race may be apparent in the long run as the five-time champion actually lost ground to Johnson by virtue of failing to finish the first TCM night race on Saturday evening.
Through the six-lap dash didn’t award full championship points, like the Dometic Trophy Race it did offer 10 points for starting and 10 for finishing for each competitor.
Unfortunately, Bowe was forced to watch from the sidelines with a broken rocker in his Torana’s engine putting him out of the show – had he gained the full 20 points from that race he’d sit within 40 of the title lead.
Sydney round winner Ryal Harris was the biggest improver and now sits just seven points behind Bowe, and 67 from the lead, in his EFS Camaro.
His upturn in results has seen him take 81 points out of Johnson across the last two rounds to condense the top three contenders – one each from Chevrolet, Ford and Holden – ahead of Bathurst’s three races.
A quiet weekend from Adam Bressington in Sydney saw him cede some ground to the leading contenders, though the VDC Camaro remains fourth in points and only 117 from the lead.
Heading to Bathurst, Jim Pollicina remains fifth in the standings and a very appropriate 161 points from Johnson.
Pollicina also remains the leader in the ProAm class, a race within a race that also looks like it will go down to the wire.
First through fourth in ProAm also sit fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth in the overall TCM standings with Pollicina 69 points ahead of a surging Ryan Hansford.
The Multispares Torana finished third overall in Sydney to move within striking distance of his Torana rival.
Another Torana, the AC Delco entry of Bruce Williams is third in class 104 points behind Pollicina.
Aaron Seton’s stunning form has elevated him to eighth in the overall championship and fourth in ProAm, 136 points behind Pollicina and only 297 from the outright series lead.
400 points are up for grabs across Bathurst and Sandown meaning that the third-generation driver remains a title chance.
Marcus Zukanovic moved into ninth position outright after a consistent Sydney weekend while Cameron Mason sits 10th after winning another Dometic Trophy race at the weekend.
A feel-good story from the weekend was that of Allen Boughen in the iconic Mercury Comet, who won the ProSport class and also moved into the class lead overall thanks to a consistent weekend.
Jamie Tilley was perhaps the most unlucky, however, looking in good shape to win the class after a strong Saturday before damage in Sunday’s first race saw him out for the day.