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6 September 2016 | General

TCM WINNERS: WHO’S NEXT IN LINE?

A RECORD-SMASHING eight different winners have won races in the Touring Car Masters series’ this year – but if the list of contenders yet to grab a victory is anything to go by that list could be bigger by the end of the year.

The year started in Adelaide with Greg Ritter taking two wins before Adam Garwood won his maiden race in the Trophy battle on Sunday.

At Sandown Jim Richards (race one) and John Bowe (race two) continued their decades-long fight before Andrew Fisher powered his Falcon GTHO to a hugely popular victory in race three – his first in the category.

Bowe won twice at Winton (proper Torana country that) before Glenn Seton stormed from near last to win the Trophy race in stunning fashion thanks to a last-lap pass on Adam Garwood in a thriller.

In Darwin it was Steven Johnson’s turn to taste the champagne using Falcon GTHO power to hold out Bowe in race one and Seton in race two for a pair of extremely well-received victories.

In the trophy race Wayne Mercer made it a hat trick for Ford fans and became the third first-time winner this season.

John Bowe and Glenn Seton dominated the most recent round at Queensland Raceway however both continue to be pushed extremely hard by a busy pack looking to break through for a maiden win.

On top of the ‘would be winners’ list has to be Jason Gomersall and Eddie Abelnica.

Gomersall has been an outright contender in every race this year especially since the Winton debut of his two-door A9X Torana that has rapidly become the most popular car in the category.

He’s qualified second in each of the three rounds he’s contested with the car and in nine races has three seconds and two thirds to his credit – not to mention a very healthy lead in the ProAm standings.

And though qualifying isn’t as important in TCM as other categories Gomersall’s performances in those sessions this year have been hugely impressive: He’s missed the top spot by an average of just 0.2 seconds and three of his four TCM front row starts have come in the last three rounds.

What will be even more promising for the Queenslander is the fact that his debut front-row start in TCM also came at Phillip Island when he started alongside John Bowe at the Victorian venue in 2014. There’s no doubt that when – certainly not if – Gomersall cracks it for his maiden TCM victory it will be a hugely popular moment.

Eddie Abelnica is of course a former race winner in the category and has six race wins and a round victory (Barbagello 2007) to his credit. His famous bright red Falcon Coupe is a contender at every circuit – and has been supremely consistent this season which is why he currently sits second in the championship less than 60 points behind Bowe.

The popular Victorian is also absolutely due a result: his last race win came at Bathurst in 2013 and since then he’s been in the top three 20 times in 64 races without quite cracking it for an outright win.

This year Eddie has finished on the podium in three of the five rounds contested and has a pair of top three race performances to his credit. What’s more is that Abelnica stormed home at the end of the 2015 season with top three finishes in the last six straight races – including three at Phillip Island..

So who else? The Whiteline Racing duo have to be considered contenders in their pair of Chevrolet Camaro’s.

Mark King has two race wins to his credit in TCM and has again been hugely consistent in his King Springs ’70 model this year. Adam Bressington meanwhile is yet to record an outright TCM victory but has three top-three race results to his credit including one scored at Mount Panorama. He’s also driving a car that is the third most successful in TCM History: The 21 wins Andrew Miedecke scored in the Whiteline Racing ’69 Camaro sit only behind John Bowe’s Ford Mustang ‘Sally’ and Gavin Bullas’ similar ’69 coupe.

Tony Karanfilovski is also yet to win this year but with three race wins to his credit certainly knows how to get the job done.

Brett Youlden who makes a welcome return in his HQ Monaro is another who has had success in the category and is also a former winner at Phillip Island when he powered his green machine to the front at the high-speed Victorian venue in 2012.

And then there’s Keith Kassulke.. he’s twice won races at Phillip Island and has a round victory there to his credit too.

Of course we’re only touching the surface here. The WAECO Trophy Races introduced this year have added even more spice to the already hot racing the Touring Car Masters has to offer – only broadening the list of potential winners this year.

Who do you think will be next? Tell us on Facebook Twitter or Instagram!

2016 TOURING CAR MASTERS – RACE RESULTS

Race No. Circuit Winner Car 2nd Car 3rd Car 
1 Clipsal 500 Greg Ritter Chevrolet Monza John Bowe Torana SLR 5000 Glenn Seton Mustang
2 Clipsal 500 Greg Ritter Chevrolet Monza Eddie Abelnica Falcon XB Coupe John Bowe Torana SLR 5000
3 Clipsal 500 Adam Garwood Torana SLR 5000 Andrew Fisher Falcon GTHO Andrew Miedecke Camaro
4 Sandown Jim Richards AMC Javelin John Bowe Torana SLR 5000 Steven Johnson Falcon GTHO
5 Sandown John Bowe Torana SLR 5000 Steven Johnson Falcon GTHO Jim Richards AMC Javelin
6 Sandown Andrew Fisher Falcon GTHO Mark King Camaro John Bowe Torana SLR 5000
7 Winton John Bowe Torana SLR 5000 Jason Gomersall Torana A9X Glenn Seton Mustang
8 Winton John Bowe Torana SLR 5000 Jason Gomersall Torana A9X Glenn Seton Mustang
9 Winton Glenn Seton Mustang Adam Garwood  Torana SLR 5000 Tony Karanfilovski Mustang
10 Hidden Valley Steven Johnson Falcon GTHO John Bowe Torana SLR 5000 Glenn Seton Mustang
11 Hidden Valley Steven Johnson Falcon GTHO Glenn Seton Mustang Eddie Abelnica Falcon XB Coupe
12 Hidden Valley Wayne Mercer Falcon GTHO Rusty French Mustang Glenn Seton Mustang
13 Ipswich Glenn Seton Mustang Jason Gomersall Torana A9X Eddie Abelnica Falcon XB Coupe
14 Ipswich John Bowe Torana SLR 5000 Glenn Seton Mustang Jason Gomersall Torana A9X
15 Ipswich John Bowe Torana SLR 5000 Glenn Seton Mustang Jason Gomersall Torana A9X