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25 March 2015 | General

TCM FACTS AND STATS – SHANNONS TASMANIA TOURIST TROPHY

THE ENZED Touring Car Masters returns to Symmons Plains Raceway near Launceston this week for round two of the 2015 season.

It’s the first time that TCM has visited the Apple Isle since 2010 and the series is returning in great strength with the best Tassie field ever to gather at Symmons Plains on March 27-29.

The field includes three former winners of the iconic Targa Tasmania rally and two former winners of the Tasmanian V8 Supercars / ATCC round.

Here’s the lowdown on the Shannons Tasmania Tourist Trophy this weekend:

TASMANIAN GREATS & GREAT TASMANIANS

TASMANIA’S rich motorsport heritage will be on show this weekend with plenty of successful locals and those who have been successful locally in action.

There are three former winners of the Targa Tasmania rally in the field;

Greg Crick (MOPAR Chrysler Charger) won the rally twice in 1992 and 1993. Crick remains based in Tasmania and runs several highly successful car dealerships representing FIAT / Chrysler brands amongst others.

Andrew Miedecke (Lubrmaxx Chevrolet Camaro) won the rally in 1994. Though famous for being based in Port Macquarie Miedecke spent much of his childhood in Launceston.

Jim Richards (Shannons AMC Javelin) won the rally in 1996 97 98 2000 01 02 03 and 06 with iconic Tasmanian motorsport commentator Barry Oliver alongside.

There are also two former winners of the Tasmanian V8 Supercars / Australian Touring Car Championship round at the venue on the TCM grid this year.

Jim Richards won the 1991 ATCC round in a Nissan Skyline GT-R while Glenn Seton did the job the following year in his Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500. Seton also won the opening race of the 1998 round in his Ford Credit Racing EL Falcon.

Ironically John Bowe – who is absent from this round – only won one race at the venue in his entire ATCC career in 1995.

Also joining the field this weekend include local racers John Talbot (Ford Mustang Coupe) Leon Bell (Holden Monaro) and Darren Pearce (Chevrolet Camaro SS).

RARE VISITS

This year will mark just the fourth time that the TCM series will have visited Symmons Plains Raceway.

The series raced there in 2007 and 2008 with Gavin Bullas winning both rounds in his Ford BOSS Mustang.

A rain-affected visit in 2010 was won by John Bowe who scored pole and wins in the two races ultimately contested.

Of those entered for the 2015 TCM return only Andrew Miedecke Mark King Brett Youlden Cameron Tilley Tony Hunter Keith Kassulke Gavin Bullas and Tony Karanfilovski have competed at the venue in TCM cars before.

GOLDEN TONSILS

One of the most iconic voices of Australian Motorsport Barry Oliver will return to call the TCM series this weekend for the on-track / big screen production.

Oliver is famous for being the voice of Australian Touring Car Racing through to the mid 2000s and has also enjoyed a stint as the TCM series commentator. The series is looking forward to Baz being back on the microphone for his home round – and the big TCM Tassie return!

FANTASTIC FOUR

Just for something different the Tyrepower Tasmania V8 Supercars meeting will finish with a special fourth TCM race on Sunday afternoon.

Though it won’t pay series points you can bet that plenty of fans will stick around at Symmons Plains to see the final fling for the weekend once the V8’s are done and dusted.

CLIPSAL RUNDOWN

Andrew Miedecke (Camaro) Cameron Tilley (Valliant Pacer) and Tony Hunter (Chevy Monza) won their respective classes at the Clipsal 500 to kick off the 2015 seasoThe round was notable for several key moments that may help shape the season including;

  • The strong return of double champion Gavin Bullas in his Prodrive Racing Australia-built 1970 Ford Mustang: Bullas finished second in Pro Master for the round and hassled Miedecke and Bowe all the way.
  • A positive debut for Jim Richards’ Javelin ‘Mark II’ on its first ever race and after just five laps of shakedown prior to the round.
  • In a somewhat controversial result Clipsal delivered the first ever racing one-two for the Tilley family in TCM history. Though Cameron Mason led the field home in race two after a blinding rolling start he was judged to have broken the series’ starting procedure and was subsequently penalised post-race – handing the victory to Brad Tilley with brother Cameron in second.
  • Strong weekends from Brett Youlden Greg Crick Keith Kassulke and Eddie Abelnica in particular show that there’s not much between the diverse mix of brands at the pointy-end of the TCM pack this year.

RAW NUMBERS – TCM AT SYMMONS PLAINS RACEWAY

Current lap record: John Bowe (2010 – Ford Mustang TransAm) 57.7095s
Current Pole Record: John Bowe 56.7244s

RACE WINS:                                         POLE POSITIONS:

Gavin Bullas – 6                           John Bowe – 2
John Bowe – 3                             Gavin Bullas – 1

AVERAGE QUALIFYING MARGIN (1-2): 1.102s.
CLOSEST QUALIFYIG MARGIN (1-2): 0.1478s (Bullas – Abelnica 2007).
LARGEST QUALIFYING MARGIN (1-2): 1.863s (Bowe – Steve Mason 2010).