Bowe leads by two as TCM season reaches half way point
JOHN BOWE leads the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters Series by just two points as the title battle heads into the second half of the 2022 season.
Ryan Hansford’s first round victory in twelve months helped cut Bowe’s title lead down in Townsville last weekend – though the six-time TCM champion could have enjoyed a marginally larger points lead had the third race gone to plan.
STANDINGS – Following Round 3
The race was called after just five laps due to the unfortunate crash between Michael Almond and Cameron Tilley at Turn 3, when brake failure on Almond’s Camaro sent him flying into the back of an unknowing Tilley.
Bowe was leading Hansford at the time the race was called and had it counted for championship points would not have won the round – but would have had a slightly larger championship margin heading into the next round.
Hansford has been in superb form of late with the Multispares Torana having qualified on the front row in the last eight TCM rounds.
It’s a remarkable strike rate that stretches back to the 2020 Adelaide 500, the only round held that year.
Predictably, Bowe holds the record for most consecutive front-row starts (23, between the 2010 Sandown event and the 2013 round at Sydney Motorsport Park), however one more would put Hansford into second on that particular statistical table.
Consistency has been key for the Queenslander this year, finishing inside the top three in seven of the eight Series races this year.
Bowe has had six top three finishes however his three wins (to Hansford’s pair) have given him the edge in points.
Cameron Tilley remains third in the outright championship and continues to lead the Pro-Am standings following Round 3, while George Miedecke now sits fourth aboard his Whiteline Racing Camaro, just a few points behind the popular Valiant.
A starring performance from Andrew Fisher has him up to fifth in the championship, having swapped his Falcon GTHO for a Holden Torana in Townsville.
While Ford fans will undoubtedly dislike having one of their own racing for the arch-rival brand, the performances spoke volumes as the Torana’s revelled in the short, twisty Townsville circuit which favoured the nimbler Holden package.
Third in both Series races represented Andrew’s best TCM race results since his dramatic win in the Trophy Race at Winton in 2019 (the one where he and Bruce Williams had their ‘moment’ across the line) and best ever results in a non-jumbled grid TCM race, full stop.
It was Fisher’s first ever top three finish on overall points for a Round, and also saw him claim the Pro-Am honours.
Jim Pollicina sits sixth with Jamie Tilley – who missed Townsville – Ben Dunn, Cameron McConville and Cameron Mason rounding out the top 10.