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24 March 2020 | General

GULF WESTERN OIL TCM: BY THE NUMBERS

WELCOME to Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters by the numbers – a look into the facts and stats behind Australia’s top series for classic muscle cars.

We’ve got extensive record books dating back to the series’ foundation in 2007 that enable us to turn out some interesting numbers that showcase the series’ history who’s done what and where they did it.

Over the next few months we’ll dive into some of the key stats and tell you lots of things that you’ll be able to use in the next TCM-themed trivia night like how many races Cam Tilley’s Valliant Pacer has started who has won the most TCM races at Wakefield Park and who’s started the most races without winning one.

This week we’re looking at TCM’s racing history.

The series first race came at the Adelaide 500 in early 2007 and since then 314 have been contested – showing off the series longevity.

Sydneysider Brad Tilley and his iconic green Falcon GTHO won the first ever race ahead of Alistair MacLean and Steve Mason (who would go on to win the title that year) in their Chevrolet Camaros.

The 50th TCM race was contested in 2009 John Bowe winning at Winton Raceway in a Chevrolet Camaro. The 100th race was also won by Bowe though this time he was well settled in his now iconic Mustang nicknamed – Sally’. Appropriately that race was tackled at Sydney Motorsport Park’s Muscle Car Masters event in Sydney in 2011.

Race number 150 came up in 2013 Bowe beating Les Walmsley home in a competitive dash at Queensland Raceway.

The Tassie champion clearly loves wining the milestone races because he also won the series’ 200th race two years later appropriately back at Muscle Car Masters in Sydney.

Fun fact – the milestone double-century race also saw Neil Crompton on the podium. While Bowe had transitioned to his Torana at this point the voice of Australian motorsport was drafted in to drive – Sally’ in a one-of appearance on Father’s Day.

Bowe’s streak of winning milestone races came to an end in the series’ 250th held at the first ever Newcastle 500 event in 2017 – but it was won by someone familiar to him.

Steven Johnson claimed the race the first of the final round of that year’s title and a huge boost to his title hopes that year too.

It didn’t come easy however; Adam Bressington crossed the line first but was penalised for being out of line at the start – the penalty handing Johnson the race win.

Finally race 300 continued the trend of the ‘century’ events being contested at Muscle Car Masters in Sydney – Aaron Seton beating Steven Johnson and Ryal Harris to the line in the milestone race.

Naturally the winners list is dominated by John Bowe. The six-time TCM champion currently has 99 victories to his credit just the one away from a remarkable achievement of grabbing 100 victories in the one series. Few others – Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup in Supercars spring to mind – have that on their CV.

Steven Johnson is second on the all-time list. Since his debut at Symmons Plains in 2015 Johnson has won 44 TCM races while in the same period Bowe has taken 33.

Double champion Gavin Bullas (29 wins) legend Jim Richards (24) and Andrew Miedecke (21) are next on the list while Brad Tilley (13) and Steven Mason (10) are the only other drivers in double figures.

36 drivers have won races outright in TCM history while there have been 5 no-races where no result has been recorded.

Cameron Tilley (10) has the most race podium finishes without yet scoring a victory while Adam Bressington held the record (11) before breaking through for his first ever race win in Adelaide in 2018.

Bowe and Johnson jointly hold the record for most wins in a single season at 14 (Bowe in 2012 Johnson in 2018) while the 2016 season saw a stunning 10 different race winners the most in any single season.

Bowe of course holds the records for the most ‘clean sweeps’  winning every race in a single round. He’s done that on 10 occasions.

Ford for the record have 194 TCM victories with the various models of Ford Mustang accounting for 146 of those.

Chevrolet have taken 62 wins while Holden are catching their GM brothers; they’re third on 45.