Tilley Pacer breaks through for historic first TCM win
After 10 years of trying, 70 rounds entered and 203 races contested, Cameron Tilley and his iconic Valliant Pacer are finally Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters race winners.
The Sydney driver and his iconic Blue Pacer are firm fan favourites in the TCM paddock and had come close to success on several occasions, only to be denied at the final hurdle.
That wasn’t the case today, however, as Tilley converted a Trophy Race pole position to beat home Jim Pollicina and a fast-finishing Ryal Harris in the first race of the Bathurst weekend to record one of the most popular victories in series history.
“This has been such a long time coming and for a while there I wasn’t sure it would even happen,” Tilley said.
“It was a really good race. It was an even start with John (Bowe) but the moment that I got in front at the kink before the cutting I knew we were in a good spot.
“I pushed really hard on the opening lap to make a margin and held it from there.
“So many people help and support me in doing this. Outside of work, most of my life is spent on this car so it’s incredible to finally get that first win.
“All the people who support us and the fans who follow along and send messages of encouragement are the reason we keep going so this is a big thank you to them.”
Tilley’s Pacer first raced in the 2008 TCM season as a Hemi six-powered car and has evolved and developed throughout the years.
It gained V8 power three seasons ago in a bid to compete with the dominant Mustangs and Camaros in straight-line performance and was dubbed the ‘World’s Fastest Pacer’ by the team and fans alike.
Always running on a tight budget and with a band of helpers along for the ride, the fan-favourite car raced 163 times without recording a win until this weekend.
It was just the third ever win for a Chrysler product in TCM history and the first since Greg Crick won, at Bathurst, in a Charger in 2014.
Jim Pollicina chased Tilley hard throughout the abbreviated race to claim second, while Ryal Harris stormed through from 14th to third thanks to a series of bold moves in the EFS Camaro – in his first race since the 2019 season finale’.
Symmons Plains race winner Marcus Zukanovic was a stout fourth while Jamie Tilley finished fifth in his Mustang.
Mark King, Adam Garwood – who starts from pole for the first championship race tomorrow – Andrew Fisher, Ryan Hansford and Cameron Mason completed the top 10.
John Bowe ran second early before mechanical dramas forced his Paynter Dixon Torana to pit lane, the five-time TCM champion ultimately classified 17th.
The first championship race of the weekend will be contested over 7 laps, starting at 10:30am local time, Adam Garwood and Ryan Hansford sharing the front row of the grid with Ryal Harris and Steve Johnson fourth.
The race will be shown live on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports.
RESULTS – TCM Trophy Race, Mount Panorama
|Pos||Car||Competitor/Team||Driver||Vehicle Cap||CL Laps||Race.Time||Fas||test…Lap|
|1||60||Anglomoil Superior Lubricants||Cameron Tilley||Valiant Pacer||4||9:28.1868||3||2:21.5926|
|2||7||MoCOMM Motorsport Comms||Jim Pollicina||Holden Torana A9X||4||9:29.4841||4||2:21.2482|
|3||58||EFS 4X4 Accessories||Ryal Harris||Chevrolet Camaro SS||4||9:29.9437||4||2:19.4541*|
|4||71||Action Motor Industries||Marcus Zukanovic||Ford Falcon XD||4||9:31.4298||4||2:20.4137|
|5||29||Gulf Oil||Jamie Tilley||Ford Mustang Coupe||4||9:34.1264||2||2:22.5468|
|6||95||Whiteline Racing||Mark King||Chevrolet Camaro SS||4||9:40.2039||2||2:24.0078|
|7||85||Whiteline Racing||Adam Garwood||Chevrolet Camaro RS||4||9:40.3504||2||2:22.5862|
|8||9||Jesus Racing||Andrew Fisher||Ford Falcon XY GT HO||4||9:41.4270||4||2:23.9824|
|9||6||Multispares Racing||Ryan Hansford||Holden Torana A9X||4||9:42.3594||2||2:23.0639|
|10||33||Toronto Hotel||Cameron Mason||Ford Mustang Trans A||4||9:42.4548||2||2:22.7983|
|11||67||Bilstein/JMG Racing||Jeremy Gray||Ford Capri Perana||4||9:42.7509||4||2:24.4527|
|12||17||Full Throttle Custom Garages||Steve Johnson||Ford XD Falcon||4||9:46.2739||2||2:23.5966|
|13||75||McGill Motorsport||Aaron McGill||Ford Falcon XW GT||4||9:47.1787||4||2:24.6782|
|14||88||TIFS Third Party Logistics||Tony Karanfilovski||Ford Mustang Trans A||4||9:54.9577||4||2:25.4727|
|15||74||Lyndways Builders||Wayne Mercer||Ford Falcon XY GT HO||4||10:05.9717||4||2:29.5063|
|16||12||Lighthouse Hotel||Peter Burnitt||Holden Torana A9X||4||10:06.7158||3||2:30.6075|
|17||18||PAYNTER DIXON / Payce||John Bowe||Holden Torana SL/R 5||4||11:31.8782||2||2:21.2528|