23 February 2021 | General

Tru Blu to return to Mount Panorama as Gulf Western Oil TCM field set

A bright blue XD Ford Falcon with a Johnson behind the wheel will this weekend return to Mount Panorama in the search of more Bathurst success – four decades on from the original etching the family into Bathurst folklore.

Dubbed ‘Tru Blu 2’ by the team, Steven Johnson’s Falcon – a tribute to Dick Johnson’s iconic Bathurst Ford of the early 1980s – will make its Bathurst debut this weekend as a strong field lines up for round 2 of the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters series.

Though not the first XD Falcon to tackle TCM races at Mount Panorama, it will be the first time that the Team Johnson example will race in Bathurst.

It is one of several highlights amidst a talent-packed field set to tackle four races at this weekend’s Repco Mount Panorama 500 event.

Johnson sits third in the TCM overall standings; five-time champion John Bowe and young Tasmanian rising star Adam Garwood locked atop the championship table after splitting the race victories in the second round of the championship at Symmons Plains in January.

Both are confirmed for this weekend: Bowe’s story the most remarkable given his recent diagnosis of Prostate Cancer.

Bowe has already commenced treatment in Melbourne but, despite feeling unwell, has committed to at the very least taking to the track this weekend and avoid putting a backup plan in action.

The hall-of-famer has seen an outpouring of public support since he confirmed news of his diagnosis three weeks ago but has continually vowed to race this weekend aboard his Paynter Dixon-supported Torana.

An expanded field includes the return of Queenslander Ryal Harris and his EFS Chevrolet Camaro.

Harris was forced to miss the opening round after delays in shipping saw vital engine parts for his car missing in action.

Despite missing the first three races of the season, the former V8 Ute Series champion is likely to contend this weekend; he was a round winner in 2019 and finished on the podium on his Mount Panorama TCM debut as well.

The field that raced in Tasmania is bolstered by several other returning faces, including Newcastle-based Cameron Mason who will field another blue oval product running a tribute to a Ford racing legend.

Mason’s 1969 Ford Mustang Trans Am runs the Number 33 and a livery in tribute to the iconic ‘Brut’ Mustang raced by Allan Moffat in the early 1970s.

Mason isn’t the only Ford product returning to the grid this weekend, either: Jamie Tilley (Mustang Coupe), Jeremy Gray (Ford Capri Perana), Wayne Mercer (Falcon XY GTHO) and Aaron McGill (Falcon XW GT) all adding to the Ford flavor on the Mountain.

The Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters field will tackle four races this weekend.

After practice, qualifying and the opening Trophy race on Friday, the first championship race of the weekend will be held on Saturday morning, followed by two further races on Sunday.

Several drivers will mark important TCM milestones this weekend: Andrew Fisher (Jesus Racing Falcon GTHO) set to start his 100th TCM race, while Mark King (Whiteline Racing Chevrolet Camaro) will join an elite club of just four others to have started 200 TCM races should he take the starter for the first two races of the weekend.

All four races will be shown live on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports, with selected coverage on the Seven network across the weekend to be confirmed.

ENTRY LIST – Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters, Round 2

6 Multispares Racing Ryan Hansford QLD PA Holden Torana A9X 5000cc Yellow/Blue
7 MoCOMM Motorsport Comms Jim Pollicina NSW PM Holden Torana A9X 5000cc White/Black/Red
9 Jesus Racing Andrew Fisher NSW PA Ford Falcon XY GT HO 5800cc Red
12 The Lighthouse Hotel Peter Burnitt QLD PS Holden Torana A9X 6000cc Black
17 Full Throttle Custom Garages Steve Johnson QLD PM Ford XD Falcon 5800cc Tru Blue
18 PAYNTER DIXON / Payce John Bowe VIC PM Holden Torana SL/R 5000 5000cc Black/White
25 Vawdrey Trailers / Castrol Paul Freestone VIC PA Chevrolet Camaro 5800cc Maroon
29 Gulf Oil Jamie Tilley NSW PA Ford Mustang Coupe 5000cc Black
33 Toronto Hotel Cameron Mason NSW PA Ford Mustang Trans Am 5800cc Silver/Green
50 Motorsport Parts Australia Gerard McLeod VIC PA Holden VB Commodore 6000cc White/Blue/Red
58 EFS 4×4 accessories Ryal Harris QLD PM Chevrolet Camaro SS 5800cc Red
60 Tilley Racing Cameron Tilley NSW PA Valiant Pacer 4390cc Blue
67 Bilstein / JMG Racing Jeremy Gray NSW PA Ford Capri Perana 5000cc Blue/White’
71 Action Motor Industries Marcus Zukanovic VIC PM Ford Falcon XD 5800cc White/Blue
74 Lindway Builders Wayne Mercer VIC PA Ford Falcon GTHO 5800cc Light Blue
75 McGill Motorsport Aaron McGill NSW PA Ford Falcon XW GT 5800cc White
85 Whiteline Racing Adam Garwood SA PA Chevrolet Camaro RS 5800cc Yellow
88 TIFS Third Party Logistics Tony Karanfilovski NSW PA Ford Mustang Trans Am 5800cc Orange
95 Whiteline Racing Mark King QLD PM Chevrolet Camaro SS 5800cc Yellow

Steven Johnson – Team Johnson XD Ford Falcon

“It’s going to be pretty cool to bring a ‘Tru Blu’ Falcon back to Bathurst,” Johnson said.

“Whether they were fans or not, so many people have memories of watching the original car and Dad race there in the 1980s. It’s such an iconic piece of Bathurst history so to go back there with our new ‘Tru Blu 2’ TCM car is pretty special.

“The car is still very new and we’re still learning a lot every time it gets on track, but getting to Bathurst and racing there is going to be a big step forward for Team Johnson and the car as we develop it into a race winner.”

John Bowe – Holden Torana

“Yes I’m going to be at Bathurst,” Bowe posted on his public Facebook page.

“I haven’t felt great since my initial procedure for Prostate Cancer, but it’s very random so I’m going to give the racing a crack, mainly because it’s Bathurst.

“If I can’t do it I have a plan B, but I’m hoping to not have to use it.

“Once again I want to thank the thousands and thousands of folks who sent me well wishes and advice. It’s truly touching and greatly appreciated.”