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30 April 2021 | General

Commodore tops first Sydney TCM practice

Despite never having raced at Sydney Motorsport Park before this weekend, Gerard McLeod has topped practice for round three of the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters series at the Sydney venue.

McLeod, driving a Holden Commodore, banked his best time of 1m40.4908s on his seventh of nine laps in the uninterrupted 20-minute session to edge out the Valliant Pacer of Cameron Tilley by only 0.041s.

The top eight cars were covered by just 0.8 seconds in a tightly-packed field, one that points towards a hugely competitive weekend.

Ryal Harris, who won on the series’ last visit to the circuit in 2019, was third fastest and John Bowe fourth in his Holden Torana.

Local hero Tony Karanfilovski was an impressive fifth with Bathurst race winner Ryan Hansford just 0.5 seconds from the top spot in sixth.

Steven Johnson continued to chip away on the one-lap pace of car 17 and finished seventh in the session, while Jeremy Gray’s Ford Capri Perana was an outstanding eighth.

It’s the most promising performance yet from the Sydneysider and his 302ci-powered Ford.

Fellow local ace Jamie Tilley was ninth in his Mustang while Adam Bressington completed the top-10 aboard the #85 Camaro from Whiteline Racing.

With a brand-new engine, Bressington eased his way back into the category having not raced since winning the Adelaide 500 event at the beginning of the ultimately cancelled 2020 season.

Andrew Fisher, Jim Pollicina – who makes his debut aboard the ex-Jason Gomersall Holden Torana A9X this weekend – Mark King, Cameron Mason, Pete Burnitt, John Adams and Allan Hughes completed the field.

The 20-minute session ran without interruption today with the field to head straight into qualifying; to be held under lights this evening at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The session is set to commence at 8:00pm local time and run for 20 minutes.