TCM TORQUE Ã¢â‚¬â€œ SHANNONS QUEENSLAND TOURIST TROPHY
2015 MARKS just the third time that the ENZED Touring Car Masters series will have visited Ipswich and Queensland Raceway.
Yet thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still been plenty of notable stories to emerge from the circuit over the years as the 2015 series enters the second half of a remarkably competitive season.
With only a handful of points splitting the top three drivers in the championship Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and both John Bowe and Steven Johnson not out of the equation despite missing rounds Ã¢â‚¬â€œ QR could be a key round in this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s TCM fight. Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
A PLACE OF FIRSTS
QR may have only hosted two TCM rounds but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still been the place for several series Ã¢â‚¬ËœfirstsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
QR 2013 marked the first pole position for Keith Kassulke when his Outbound Racing Ford Falcon CoupeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ ousted the dominant John Bowe and a quick Jason Gomersall in qualifying two years ago. Keith would go on to score finishes of second fourth and third across the three races respectively that weekend.
2012 was also the first time that Greg Crick raced in TCM driving a Ford Falcon GTHO owned by Steve Makarios. Crick of course would go on to purchase Ã¢â‚¬ËœAlvinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ the Charger for regular TCM competition.
2012 also marked Mark KingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first round with Whiteline Racing a relationship that the Brisbane driver maintains to this day. King had raced the Ford XA Sedan prior to jumping in the 1970 Chevrolet Camaro.
Tony Karanfilovski took the wraps of his then-new Ford Mustang at QR in 2013 making quite an impression on its debutThe Yellow TIFS Ã¢â‚¬â„¢69 TransAm marked Tony KÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s third car in TCM following stints in the little Alfa GTA-M and the somewhat more powerful Ford Falcon GTHO Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but the new Mustang built by Spencer RiceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Classic Speed Shop Ã¢â‚¬â€œ was a step forward again. Karanfilovski qualified sixth on the carsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ debut and finished in the same position in race one.
Taking advantage of the field inversion for race two Karanfilovski shaded Jim Richards for the entire race but on the final lap launched an attack in the braking zone at turn three Ã¢â‚¬â€œ much to the delight of the crowd. Unfortunately for Tony he out-braked himself and after leading for about five meters ran off into the gravel. The heroics may have cost him a result but instantly won him over to the Ipswich crowd!
Tony K went on to finish fifth in the final race to cap off a strong weekend.
FLUCTUATING TITLE FIGHT
The closest title fight in TCM history has been compelling since the first round at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide in March but perhaps more impressively has featured three different leaders from after the last three rounds.
Andrew Miedecke led the standings following the opening round in Adelaide leading Gavin Bullas and Eddie Abelnica.
Eddie Abelnica then jumped to the top after round two in Tasmania his consistency the key. Miedecke plunged to fifth in the ProMaster standings after a tough round with Greg Crick now second and Jim Richards third.
A zero score from Abelnica at Winton dropped him out of the running Gavin Bullas leaping to the top thanks to his second-place effort. Mr. Consistency Greg Crick retained second with Miedecke moving back to third.
Miedecke then returned to the top of the charts following his strong Darwin weekend Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but Jim Richards was the big mover leaping from fourth to second in the AMC Javelin and relegating Crick to third in the progress.
So bearing in mind thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 180 points up for grabs at each round Miedecke leads Richards 557-543 points with rounds at Muscle Car Masters (Sydney Motorsport Park) Bathurst and Phillip Island to come.
Crick in third is a further 11 points further back whilst fourth-placed Mark King is only 96 points from the lead.
Remarkably despite missing Tasmania John Bowe sits 6th in the ProMaster points standings: just 119 points from the lead and must not be ruled out of the championship picture. Ã‚Â
His rivals will be hoping Steven Johnson 192 points from the lead continues to take points off his car owner and teammate!
BY THE NUMBERS:
This year marks the 2nd visit by TCM to Queensland Raceway. 6 TCM races across 2 rounds have been held at QR since the seriesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ first visit in 2012.
2012 John Bowe (Mustang) 1m16.8783
2013 Keith Kassulke (Ford Falcon Coupe) 1m17.6731s
Smallest margin 1st to 2nd in qualifying: Bowe to Jim Richards 2012 (0.0270s)
2012: John Bowe (Mustang) 2013: John Bowe (Mustang)
John Bowe Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 5 Jim Richards Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1
LAP RECORD PROGRESSION
Andrew Miedecke Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1m17.4866s Race 1 2012. The lap record has not been broken since.
John Bowe Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 3 Jim Richards 1 Andrew Miedecke 1 Keith Kassulke 1.
Much has been made of the 1980s Australian Touring Car Championship / Bathurst 1000 Ã¢â‚¬Ëœclass reunionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Ã¢â‚¬â€œ featuring Bowe Crick Richards and Miedecke – in TCM this year. Well as well as the famous Ã¢â‚¬ËœJohnsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ surname re-joining the fray two others will also make their respective TCM Debuts this weekend.
Charlie OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Brien Ã¢â‚¬â€œ leads the QLD TransAm series mid-way through 2015 and will race his 1970 Pontiac Firebird as part of an eight-car T/A pack joining the TCM grid this weekend. OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Brien held the record for being the youngest ever winner of an ATCC round from 1976 to 2003.
ENTRY LIST – SHANNONS QUEENSLAND TOURIST TROPHY
|No.||Sponsor Name||Class||Driver Name||State||Year||Make||Model||Colour||Cap|
|2||Shannons Insurance||ProMaster||Jim Richards||VIC||1972||AMC||Javelin||Grey/Green||5890cc|
|3||Fataz Competition Engines||TransAm||Charlie O’Brien||QLD||1970||Pontiac||Firebird||White||5800cc|
|4||Skye Sands||ProAm||Rusty French||VIC||1970||Ford||Mustang Fastback||Black||5800cc|
|8||Faranda Automotive Service||TransAm||Martin O’Kane||QLD||1970||Chevrolet||Camaro||Blue||5800cc|
|9||Jesus Racing||ProAm||Andrew Fisher||NSW||1971||Ford||Falcon XY GTHO||Grey/Red||5800cc|
|17||PAYCE/Wilson Security||ProMaster||Steven Johnson||QLD||1969||Ford||Mustang Trans Am||Blue/Yellow||5800cc|
|18||Dunlop Super Dealers/ Wilson Security/ PAYCE||ProMaster||John Bowe||VIC||1974||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana SL/R 5000||Blue/Yellow||5047cc|
|20||Storage King||ProAm||Ian Palmer||QLD||1970||Pontiac||Trans-Am||White/Blue||5800cc|
|22||Collins Hay||TransAm||Mike Collins||QLD||1965||Ford||Mustang||Red||5000cc|
|25||Angliss Meats||TransAm||Brett Curran||QLD||1967||Ford||Shelby Fastback||White/Red||5800cc|
|30||Thunder Road Racing Team Australia||ProMaster||Glenn SetonÃ‚Â||QLD||1964||Ford||Mustang Coupe||Black/Gold||5000cc|
|35||iseek RacingÃ‚Â||ProAm||Jason Gomersall||QLD||1974||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana SL/R 5000||White/Blue||5047cc|
|46||THD Motorsport||ProSports||Leo Tobin||VIC||1972||HoldenÃ‚Â||HQ Monaro||Orange||5810cc|
|48||Brisbane’s Cheapest Cars||ProMaster||Eddie Abelnica||VIC||1974||Ford||Falcon XB Coupe||Red||5800cc|
|52||Outbound Racing / wheels.com.pg||ProMaster||Keith Kassulke||QLD||1974||Ford||Falcon XB Coupe||Blue/Silver||5800cc|
|60||Glennan’s Transport||ProAm||Cameron Tilley||NSW||1969||Valiant||Pacer||Blue||4390cc|
|68||Loaders ‘R’ Us||TransAm||Alwyn Bishop||QLD||1968||Ford||Mustang||Grabber Orange||5800cc|
|69||Tenkate Plant Hire||TransAm||Anthony Tenkate||QLD||1969||Ford||Mustang Fastback||Green||5800cc|
|72||Fataz Competition Engines||TransAm||Ian Woodward||QLD||1970||Chevrolet||Camaro||Orange||5800cc|
|75||Mopar Performance||ProMaster||Greg Crick||TAS||1973||Chrysler||Charger E55||Black/Blue||5570cc|
|85||Whiteline Transport Racing / King Springs||ProMaster||Mark King||QLD||1970||Chevrolet||Camaro RS||Red/Black/White||5800cc|
|88||TIFS – Warehousing & Distribution||ProAm||Tony Karanfilovski||NSW||1969||Ford||Mustang Trans Am||Orange||5800cc|
|95||Whiteline Transport Racing / Lubrimaxx||ProMaster||Andrew Miedecke||NSW||1969||Chevrolet||Camaro SS||Black/Blue||5800cc|
|99||Loaders ‘R’ Us||TransAm||John English||QLD||1967||Ford||Mustang Coupe||Blue||5800cc|