TCM COMMODORE TO MAKE DEBUT AT ADELAIDE 500
Feb 13, 2020
MORE new metal is on the way to the 2020 Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters series, the highly anticipated debut of the VB Holden Commodore locked in for the Superloop Adelaide 500 next week.
Fielded by Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport with support from major backer Motorsport Parts Australia, Gerard McLeod will drive one of two Commodores making their racing debut in the series following a year-long build program in the team’s Dandenong, Melbourne, base.
McLeod’s Commodore will join Steven Johnson’s brand-new Team Johnson XD Falcon on the Adelaide grid to usher in a new era for Australia’s top series for classic Muscle cars from the 1960s, 70s and 1980.
A second, separately entered VB is due to race at the Adelaide 500 with details on that entry to be released soon.
Built from a one-owner donor chassis purchased from country Victoria last year, the Commodore has been built by McLeod to the highest standard with an emphasis on reliability and durability in place throughout.
“The design brief was to make a very simple, very reliable but well-thought-out car,” McLeod said.
“We believe the Commodore platform will be very competitive in Touring Car Masters and we’re looking forward to getting it on track. I got in touch with the category four years ago saying that if they ever introduced a Commodore that we would be the first to commit to running one, and I’m proud that we’ve reached this point of getting the car on track.
“The car is owned by Lucas Dumbrell and I’ve done the build over the last year. We’ve drawn on all the experience from the industry that we could find and tapped into a lot of resources including people with experience from Supercars and beyond.
“Tony Freeman of Kelly Racing built the engine in-house, (TCM competitor) Gary O’Brien did the bodywork and it looks incredible. It’s been built to a very high standard.
“We could have had it finished earlier but we didn’t want to rush it. We wanted it right.”
The car will utilise the optional Touring Car Masters category-specific engine, based on a Chevrolet block and designed for affordability and longevity.
“Running the category engine was a case of making it feasible to actually do,” he said.
“Aside from being a potent little engine due to weight, it will be very torquey and will do two years without being unbolted from the car. We weren’t going to build the car with an $80,000 engine and it ticked last box for us to go ahead, it was at that point we committed to see it through to the end.”
While yet to reveal the full livery of the car, McLeod confirmed TCM’s first Commodore will be launched in Adelaide with a direct nod to his family’s racing history.
“The car will run a livery very close to what Dad ran in the 1980s,” McLeod confirmed, recognising the history in the Australian Touring Car Championship of his 1987 Bathurst 1000 winning father, Peter.
“It’s going to look sensational and we can’t wait to pull the covers off in Adelaide and show everyone what we’ve been working on for so long.
“Adelaide will be a learning weekend but after three of four races we should be on top of it and it will be a competitive car.
“After a year of late nights and a lot of thought process in the build, I’m really looking forward to driving it,” McLeod added.
“Being involved in TCM will be fantastic – it’s a fan favourite category.”
The opening round of the 2020 Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters series will see the category tackle four races across the Superloop Adelaide 500 weekend.
Qualifying and all races will be shown live on Fox Sports 506 with selected raced also live on Channel 10.
The Round 1 grid will be announced tomorrow (Friday, 14 February).