Hansford breaks Sydney record for TCM pole position
Ryan Hansford has edged out Steven Johnson by a fraction of one-tenth of a second to become the third different pole sitter in the 2021 Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters Series.
The Queenslander and his Multispares Torana topped a stunning 20-minute session held under Sydney Motorsport Park’s lights with a flying 1m38.7225s – a qualifying record for the 3.9km circuit. The effort represented Hansford’s third career pole.
Johnson fell 0.07 seconds short of grabbing a maiden pole position for his XD Falcon, but second remains his best qualifying performance since trading in Mustang ‘Sally’ for his new ride. Like Hansford, he was also beneath the existing Sydney qualifying record – established by Aaron Seton in 2019.
Five different models filled the qualifying top five in a session that saw the top eight covered by exactly one second.
Round 2 winner Ryal Harris qualified third in the EFS Chevrolet Camaro, while second-generation home town hero Jamie Tilley was a career-best fourth aboard his Ford Mustang.
Also in top form was Jeremy Gray and his V8-powered Ford Capri, who lapped within 0.8 seconds of Hansford’s best to qualify fifth.
It’s the best ever qualifying performance for a TCM Capri and for the experienced driver behind the wheel.
John Bowe pushed his Paynter Dixon Torana to sixth, with he, Cameron Tilley’s Valliant Pacer and Gerard McLeod’s Holden Commodore covered by 0.1 seconds.
Newcastle’s finest Cameron Mason was ninth, with Jim Pollicina completing the top-10 in his Torana A9X.
Eight different models of TCM cars filled the top-10 positions in one of the most diverse qualifying sessions in series history.
Just outside the top-10 was Adam Bressington and Marcus Zukanovic, with Tony Karanfilovski, Andrew Fisher, Mark King, Pete Burnitt, John Adams and Allan Hughes completing the field.
The Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters field will tackle a pair of races on Saturday at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The first championship race of the weekend – the seventh of the season – will start at 11:20am AEST and will be broadcast live and free on 7mate.
The Trophy Race commences at 2:05pm and will be streamed for free via the 7Plus application.