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28 July 2015 | General

TCM TORQUE – SHANNONS QUEENSLAND TOURIST TROPHY

2015 MARKS just the third time that the ENZED Touring Car Masters series will have visited Ipswich and Queensland Raceway.

Yet there’s still been plenty of notable stories to emerge from the circuit over the years as the 2015 series enters the second half of a remarkably competitive season.

With only a handful of points splitting the top three drivers in the championship – and both John Bowe and Steven Johnson not out of the equation despite missing rounds – QR could be a key round in this year’s TCM fight.   

A PLACE OF FIRSTS

QR may have only hosted two TCM rounds but it’s still been the place for several series ‘firsts’.

QR 2013 marked the first pole position for Keith Kassulke when his Outbound Racing Ford Falcon Coupe’ ousted the dominant John Bowe and a quick Jason Gomersall in qualifying two years ago. Keith would go on to score finishes of second fourth and third across the three races respectively that weekend.

2012 was also the first time that Greg Crick raced in TCM driving a Ford Falcon GTHO owned by Steve Makarios. Crick of course would go on to purchase ‘Alvin’ the Charger for regular TCM competition.

2012 also marked Mark King’s first round with Whiteline Racing a relationship that the Brisbane driver maintains to this day. King had raced the Ford XA Sedan prior to jumping in the 1970 Chevrolet Camaro.

Tony Karanfilovski took the wraps of his then-new Ford Mustang at QR in 2013 making quite an impression on its debutThe Yellow TIFS ’69 TransAm marked Tony K’s third car in TCM following stints in the little Alfa GTA-M and the somewhat more powerful Ford Falcon GTHO – but the new Mustang built by Spencer Rice’s Classic Speed Shop – was a step forward again. Karanfilovski qualified sixth on the cars’ debut and finished in the same position in race one.

Taking advantage of the field inversion for race two Karanfilovski shaded Jim Richards for the entire race but on the final lap launched an attack in the braking zone at turn three – much to the delight of the crowd. Unfortunately for Tony he out-braked himself and after leading for about five meters ran off into the gravel. The heroics may have cost him a result but instantly won him over to the Ipswich crowd!

Tony K went on to finish fifth in the final race to cap off a strong weekend.

FLUCTUATING TITLE FIGHT

The closest title fight in TCM history has been compelling since the first round at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide in March but perhaps more impressively has featured three different leaders from after the last three rounds.

Andrew Miedecke led the standings following the opening round in Adelaide leading Gavin Bullas and Eddie Abelnica.

Eddie Abelnica then jumped to the top after round two in Tasmania his consistency the key. Miedecke plunged to fifth in the ProMaster standings after a tough round with Greg Crick now second and Jim Richards third.

A zero score from Abelnica at Winton dropped him out of the running Gavin Bullas leaping to the top thanks to his second-place effort. Mr. Consistency Greg Crick retained second with Miedecke moving back to third.

Miedecke then returned to the top of the charts following his strong Darwin weekend – but Jim Richards was the big mover leaping from fourth to second in the AMC Javelin and relegating Crick to third in the progress.

So bearing in mind there’s 180 points up for grabs at each round Miedecke leads Richards 557-543 points with rounds at Muscle Car Masters (Sydney Motorsport Park) Bathurst and Phillip Island to come.

Crick in third is a further 11 points further back whilst fourth-placed Mark King is only 96 points from the lead.

Remarkably despite missing Tasmania John Bowe sits 6th in the ProMaster points standings: just 119 points from the lead and must not be ruled out of the championship picture.  

His rivals will be hoping Steven Johnson 192 points from the lead continues to take points off his car owner and teammate!

BY THE NUMBERS:

This year marks the 2nd visit by TCM to Queensland Raceway. 6 TCM races across 2 rounds have been held at QR since the series’ first visit in 2012.

POLE PROGRESSION

2012 John Bowe (Mustang) 1m16.8783
2013 Keith Kassulke (Ford Falcon Coupe) 1m17.6731s

Smallest margin 1st to 2nd in qualifying: Bowe to Jim Richards 2012 (0.0270s)

ROUND WINNERS

2012: John Bowe (Mustang) 2013: John Bowe (Mustang)

RACE WINNERS:

John Bowe – 5 Jim Richards – 1

LAP RECORD PROGRESSION

Andrew Miedecke – 1m17.4866s Race 1 2012. The lap record has not been broken since.

FASTEST LAPS

John Bowe – 3 Jim Richards 1 Andrew Miedecke 1 Keith Kassulke 1.

NOTABLE

Much has been made of the 1980s Australian Touring Car Championship / Bathurst 1000 ‘class reunion’ – featuring Bowe Crick Richards and Miedecke – in TCM this year. Well as well as the famous ‘Johnson’ surname re-joining the fray two others will also make their respective TCM Debuts this weekend.

Charlie O’Brien – leads the QLD TransAm series mid-way through 2015 and will race his 1970 Pontiac Firebird as part of an eight-car T/A pack joining the TCM grid this weekend. O’Brien held the record for being the youngest ever winner of an ATCC round from 1976 to 2003.

ENTRY LIST – SHANNONS QUEENSLAND TOURIST TROPHY

No. Sponsor Name Class Driver Name State Year Make Model Colour Cap
2 Shannons Insurance ProMaster Jim Richards VIC 1972 AMC Javelin Grey/Green 5890cc
3 Fataz Competition Engines TransAm Charlie O’Brien QLD 1970 Pontiac Firebird White 5800cc
4 Skye Sands ProAm Rusty French VIC 1970 Ford Mustang Fastback Black 5800cc
8 Faranda Automotive Service TransAm Martin O’Kane QLD 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Blue 5800cc
9 Jesus Racing ProAm Andrew Fisher NSW 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Grey/Red 5800cc
17 PAYCE/Wilson Security ProMaster Steven Johnson QLD 1969 Ford Mustang Trans Am Blue/Yellow 5800cc
18 Dunlop Super Dealers/ Wilson Security/ PAYCE ProMaster John Bowe VIC 1974 Holden  Torana SL/R 5000 Blue/Yellow 5047cc
20 Storage King ProAm Ian Palmer QLD 1970 Pontiac Trans-Am White/Blue 5800cc
22 Collins Hay TransAm Mike Collins QLD 1965 Ford Mustang Red 5000cc
25 Angliss Meats TransAm Brett Curran QLD 1967 Ford Shelby Fastback White/Red 5800cc
30 Thunder Road Racing Team Australia ProMaster Glenn Seton  QLD 1964 Ford Mustang Coupe Black/Gold 5000cc
35 iseek Racing  ProAm Jason Gomersall QLD 1974 Holden  Torana SL/R 5000 White/Blue 5047cc
46 THD Motorsport ProSports Leo Tobin VIC 1972 Holden  HQ Monaro Orange 5810cc
48 Brisbane’s Cheapest Cars ProMaster Eddie Abelnica VIC 1974 Ford Falcon XB Coupe Red 5800cc
52 Outbound Racing / wheels.com.pg ProMaster Keith Kassulke QLD 1974 Ford Falcon XB Coupe Blue/Silver 5800cc
60 Glennan’s Transport ProAm Cameron Tilley NSW 1969 Valiant Pacer Blue 4390cc
68 Loaders ‘R’ Us TransAm Alwyn Bishop QLD 1968 Ford Mustang Grabber Orange 5800cc
69 Tenkate Plant Hire TransAm Anthony Tenkate QLD 1969 Ford Mustang Fastback Green 5800cc
72 Fataz Competition Engines TransAm Ian Woodward QLD 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Orange 5800cc
75 Mopar Performance ProMaster Greg Crick TAS 1973 Chrysler Charger E55 Black/Blue 5570cc
85 Whiteline Transport Racing / King Springs ProMaster Mark King QLD 1970 Chevrolet Camaro RS Red/Black/White 5800cc
88 TIFS – Warehousing & Distribution ProAm Tony Karanfilovski NSW 1969 Ford Mustang Trans Am Orange 5800cc
95 Whiteline Transport Racing / Lubrimaxx ProMaster Andrew Miedecke NSW 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Black/Blue 5800cc
99 Loaders ‘R’ Us TransAm John English QLD 1967 Ford Mustang Coupe Blue 5800cc