EDDIE’S DROUGHT ENDS WITH STUNNING ISLAND WIN
EDDIE ABELNICA brilliantly ended a 64-race streak without a Touring Car Masters race victory thanks to a powerful performance at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit today.
Abelnica became the 9th different winner of the 2016 season when he stormed his MelbourneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Cheapest Cars XB Falcon hardtop to the win from fourth on the grid passing Glenn Seton Jason Gomersall and John Bowe to do the job in a cracking race.
It was the popular MelbournianÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first win since Bathurst in 2013 and the first win for a Falcon Coupe since the final round of the same year.
TodayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s race had three different leaders across its 10-lap duration and included conditions that changed from dry at the start to mildly damp mid-race.
Starting on the front row Bowe and Gomersall battled in the opening laps swapping the lead on several occasions in their two Holden ToranaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s before Gomersall was able to open a small lead on lap four.
The same lap saw Andrew Fisher pull to a halt at the exit of turn one bringing out the Safety Car while the Jesus Racing Falcon was recovered.
Gomersall lead on the restart however was quickly passed by Bowe who was revelling in the dicey conditions in his Wilson Security SLR 5000. Ã‚Â
The pair continued to battle for the following lap and ran side-by-side into turn one on the eighth of ten laps Bowe holding the ascendency right up to the exit of turn two – where he ran wide and surrendered the lead to Gomersall.
Unfortunately the A9X driver would only hold the top spot for two more turns Ã¢â‚¬â€œ understeering wide at turn four and handing the lead to Abelnica who had also powered past Bowe when he ran wide. Ã‚Â
After three lead changes in the one lap the big Falcon was never headed from there and powered to victory ahead of Bowe and Glenn Seton Ã¢â‚¬â€œ who ran quietly in the top four for the entire race.
Adam Bressington finished an outstanding fourth in the Whiteline Racing / Fabre Chevrolet Camaro with Gomersall ultimately fifth following his trip off the road at Honda.
Brett Youlden stormed through from 10th on the grid to sixth at the finish shaded to the line by Steven Johnson (Falcon GTHO) and Jim RichardsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ AMC Javelin.
Tony Karanfilovski and Leo Tobin completed the top-10 in what was arguably one of the races of the season.
Fisher was the only non-finisher while Keith Kassulke was an unfortunate non-starter following an engine drama in qualifying.
Earlier in qualifying Bowe secured his third pole of the year with a record 1m39.83s lap while Jason Gomersall qualified second for the fourth straight round this year.
Glenn Seton and Eddie Abelnica lined up on the second row with Adam Bressington Jim Richards Steve Johnson Andrew Fisher Mark King and Brett Youlden completing the top-10.
The Touring Car Masters field will tackle a further two races on SundayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Shannons Nationals program at Phillip Island both to be streamed live via the TCM website thenationals.com.au and the MotorsportsTV app.
RACE REPLAY – FACEBOOK LIVE FEED:
RACE 1 RESULTS – PHILLIP ISLAND
Pos Car Competitor/Team Driver Vehicle Cap CL Laps Race.Time Fastest...Lap1 48 Melbourne's Cheapest Cars Eddie Abelnica (Vic) Ford Falcon XB 5800 10 21:29.6504 2 1:41.4566 2 18 Wilson Security / PAYCE John Bowe (Vic) Torana SLR 5000 5047 10 21:30.1502 10 1:41.8152 3 30 Thunder Road Racing Aust. Glenn Seton (Qld) Mustang Coupe 5000 10 21:30.6210 2 1:41.3317R4 95 Whiteline Transport Racing / F Adam Bressington (NSW) Chev Comaro SS 5800 10 21:30.7086 10 1:41.4166 5 35 iseek Racing Jason Gomersall (Qld) Torana SLR 5000 5000 10 21:31.4741 2 1:41.4276 6 56 Gabriel Shock Absorbers/ PIARC Brett Youlden (Vic) Monaro GTS CoupeHQ 5800 10 21:33.5225 2 1:42.1471 7 17 Synergy Race Engines Steve Johnson (Qld) Falcon XY GTHO 5800 10 21:35.5991 7 1:43.0444 8 2 Shannons Insurance Jim Richards (Vic) Javelin 5890 10 21:36.0182 9 1:41.9262 9 88 TIFS Warehousing & Distributio Tony Karanfilovski (NSW) Mustang Trans Am 5800 10 21:43.0442 10 1:44.1898 10 46 THD Motorsport Leo Tobin (Vic) Boss Mstang 5810 10 21:49.6281 2 1:45.3587 11 4 Skye Sands Rusty French (Vic) Mustang Fastback 5800 10 21:52.7664 10 1:44.7711 12 74 Lyndways Builders Wayne Mercer (Vic) Falcon XY GT HO 5800 10 21:54.9312 2 1:45.7530 13 12 Giraffe Civil Contracting Adam Garwood (Tas) Torana A9X Hatchback 5000 10 21:55.2390 8 1:45.1376 14 85 Whiteline Transport Racing Mark King (Qld) Chev Camaro RS 5800 10 22:20.5890 3 1:44.0579 15 22 Aussie Muscle Car Run / PRT Graham Stewart (SA) Monaro GTS Coupe 5800 10 22:38.4623 7 1:53.3735 16 19 Tincone Industrial Services Darren Beale (Qld) Monaro GTS Coupe 5800 10 22:41.4531 10 1:53.4162 DNF 9 Jesus Racing Andrew Fisher (NSW) Falcon XY GGTHO 5800 3 5:13.5988 2 1:42.9032