TCM FLASHBACK: Hansford’s first win
THE GULF Western Oil Touring Car Masters Series has only visited Townsville once – however it has already produced several memorable moments that are etched into TCM history.
Perhaps the most significant – other than the long anticipated debut of the category in far North Queensland following a lengthy fan-based campaign – was the first race win for Ryan Hansford and his Multispares Holden Torana.
That victory came in a dramatic Sunday in 2018 where Hansford won the race and John Bowe grabbed the series lead away from arch-rival Steven Johnson.
Johnson had won the opening race on the Reid Park circuit and looked set to build on his championship lead heading the field from lights to flag in race two to back up his Saturday victory.
He then jumped to a lead in the third and final race before a broken throttle cable on the fourth lap scuppered any chance the WM Waste Ford Mustang driver had of taking his fourth-straight round victory – quick repairs in pit lane not enough to see him classified a finisher.
Bowe’s path to the round victory was not yet clear however after he was forced to charge through the field in race three.
He and Bruce Williams made contact at the start as the field rushed into turn two with both cars dropping to the rear of the field.
Bowe was on the left hand side of the circuit and swept across from the outside with the pair ending up caught together in front of the pack.
He stormed back through the pack to ultimately finish third and just do enough to secure the overall victory.
Bowe won the round by just four points with Adam Bressington second aboard his Whiteline Racing Camaro for the second straight round.
Johnson’s non-finish and Bowe’s overall victory saw the Holden Torana regain the championship lead.
Meanwhile, Ryan Hansford was another driver on the recovery path following his non-finish in race one on Saturday thanks to a broken gearbox.
He stormed to seventh in race two and then an incredible opening lap that saw him avoid the chaos at turn two elevated him to second place.
After several rounds of technical issues and plain old bad luck Hansford’s fortunes then changed further when Johnson struck issues.
He grabbed the lead when the Mustang faltered and was never headed from there, becoming the sixth different winner to that point in the 2018 season, and the third different first-time race winner of the year.
It was also the first win for the Peters Motorsport / Multispares Racing Torana outfit.
Hansford also ended a long streak of near-misses during his TCM career having scored 10 top-three finishes prior to his maiden victory on a sunny Sunday in North Queensland.
It was a remarkable comeback that essentially saw him storm from last to first in two 12-lap races.
Round 3 of the 2022 TCM Series will see the championship return to Townsville next week, July 8-10.
Hansford trails Bowe by just 10 points in the championship race following two competitive rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park so far this year.