2016 TCM SEASON TO LAUNCH AT CLIPSAL 500
STEVEN JOHNSON is set to return to Touring Car Masters competition this weekend at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide as the 2016 season launches in style.Ã‚Â
JohnsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s return to the category comes as former V8 Supercar ace Greg Ritter joins full-time and a host of potential title contendersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ front for what is expected to be a highly competitive 2016 season.
Johnson returns to the category for the Clipsal 500 after a part-time campaign last season where he successfully drove John BoweÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ford Mustang Trans-Am to four round victories.
The Queenslander will remain blue-oval based this year however has switched to a Ford Falcon GTHO owned by Tony Karanfilovski and prepared by Steve MakariosÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Synergy Racing outfit. Ã‚Â
Meanwhile a trio of former V8 Supercars / Australian Touring Car Champions all return to the series in three different brands of muscle car to kick off the 2016 title fight.
Bowe (Holden Torana SL/R 5000) Jim Richards (AMC Javelin) and Glenn Seton (Ford Mustang Coupe) are expected to be amongst a host of outright contenders for this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s TCM crown for classic muscle cars built between 1964 and 1976.
The three have a combined seven ATCC / V8 Supercar titles to their credit Ã¢â‚¬â€œ not to mention the last six outright-class TCM titles being split between legends Bowe and Richards.
Bowe will continue to race the Payce Holden Torana SL/R 5000 in which he won last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s series Ã¢â‚¬â€œ though heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s yet to race the car at the Clipsal 500.
Richards will return in his remarkably popular Shannons Insurance-supported AMC Javelin while Seton will suit up for the blue oval in the Thunder Road Racing Team Australia Ford Mustang Coupe he raced last year.
Whiteline RacingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Andrew Miedecke Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a five-time Clipsal 500 TCM race winner – and Mark King who has won once on the Adelaide streets return in a pair of Adelaide-based Chevrolet Camaros with the popular local outfit looking to continue their strong home-town form.
King was the quiet achiever in 2015 consistently scoring strong results to end up third in the Pro Master championship behind only Bowe and Richards while Abelnica is second only to Bowe in race wins at the Adelaide Parklands circuit.
Another Aussie racing legend Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Rusty French Ã¢â‚¬â€œ will also be back on track in a re-built Skye Sands Ford Mustang following a hefty crash in the final round of 2015.
Former Ford Performance Racing and Garry Rogers Motorsport V8 Supercar ace Greg Ritter returns with the former V8 Supercars regular joining the championship full time this year driving a Chevrolet Monza coupe.
Ritter made his TCM debut at Phillip IslandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 2015 season finale and was instantly impressive: qualifying on pole before a race weekend hampered by niggling reliability issues saw him fail to finish the first two races of the event.
He stormed from last to fourth in the final race of the season to serve notice that the Monza would be a contender despite never having previously having troubled the outright scorers.
Last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ProAm title winner Cameron Tilley is also back in his incredibly popular Cannon Trailers Valliant Pacer Hemi.
Dubbed Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fastest PacerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Sydneysider Tilley finished second outright on the Adelaide streets in the second race of last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Clipsal 500 TCM round and is famous for always driving the six-cylinder car as hard as it can be driven. Ã‚Â
TCM stalwarts Eddie Abelnica (AdelaideÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Cheapest Cars Ford Falcon XB Coupe) Tony Karanfilovski (Ford Mustang) and Jason Gomersall (iSeek Racing Holden Torana SL/R 5000) all return having each raced at the pointy end of the pack last year.
Gomersall finished third in the ProAm division Ã¢â‚¬â€œ behind Cameron Tilley and Tony Karanfilovski Ã¢â‚¬â€œ while Abelnica was fourth in the ProMaster division behind only Bowe Richards and Mark King.
The iSeek Racing Torana will again be prepared by V8 Supercars development Series outfit Matt Stone Racing.
Sydneysider Tony Karanfilovski will return to the scene of his maiden Touring Car Masters victory: the Ford Mustang driver nailing his first win in the category two years ago on the Adelaide streets only to fail to turn a single lap last year when an early engine drama ruled him out of competition.
Jesus RacingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Andrew Fisher is also back in his popular Ford Falcon GTHO and ready for a big season after a learning 2015 as is 16-year-old Tasmanian teenager Adam Garwood (Holden Torana).
Adelaide-based husband and wife combo Greg Keene and Amanda Sparks will return to the series with their Porsche 911 RSs two of the five-strong local contingent that includes Rory OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Neill (Porsche) Graham Stewart (XA Falcon) and Nigel Benson (HQ Monaro).
Last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ProSports class winner Leo Tobin has a new Ford Ã¢â‚¬ËœBossÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Mustang ready for his 2016 season switching from the HQ he raced last year.
Paul Freestone (Camaro) returns in his Chevrolet Camaro while Victorian Wayne MercerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ford Falcon GHTO is expected to make the event in time after a lengthy rebuild in the off-season.
The Touring Car Masters field will tackle three races across the Clipsal 500 Adelaide weekend.
Every session from Practice two to the final race will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Motorsport (Channel 506). Coverage will also air on Network Ten across the weekend with final details to be confirmed.
The Shannons / Rare Spares Touring Car Masters paddock will be located in the centre of the circuit precinct with fans welcomed to check out the cars and meet the stars of the series across the four days.
RARE SPARES ADELAIDE TROPHY – ROUND 1 ENTRY LIST
|4||Skye Sands||Rusty||French||VIC||1970||Ford||Mustang Fastback||5800cc||Black|
|9||Jesus Racing||Andrew||Fisher||NSW||1971||Ford||Falcon XY GTHO||5800cc||Grey/Red|
|10||Sunliner RV||Greg||Ritter||VIC||1975||Chevrolet||Monza 2+2||5800cc||White|
|11||Leukemia Foundation / Climate Air Control||Graham||Stewart||SA||1972||Ford||Falcon XA GT||5800cc||Violet|
|12||Giraffe Civil Contracting||Adam||Garwood||TAS||1974||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana SL/R 5000||5047cc||White|
|13||Mark Poole Motorsport||Rory||O’Neill||SA||1974||Porsche||911 IROC||3600cc||Grey/Silver|
|17||TIFS – Warehousing & Distribution||Steve||Johnson||QLD||1971||Ford||Falcon XY GTHO||5800cc||White|
|18||Wilson Security / PAYCE||John||Bowe||VIC||1974||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana SL/R 5000||5047cc||Blue/Yellow|
|21||Giraffe Civil Contracting||Greg||Garwood||TAS||1971||Ford||Capri Perana||5000cc||Ã‚Â|
|22||PRT Fabrication||Nigel||Benson||SA||1972||HoldenÃ‚Â||Monaro GTS Coupe||5800cc||Silver/Orange|
|25||Freestones Transport||Paul||Freestone||VIC||1968||Chevrolet||Camaro SS||5800cc||Maroon|
|30||Thunder Road Racing Team Australia||Glenn||Seton||QLD||1964||Ford||Mustang Coupe||5000cc||Black/Gold|
|35||iseek RacingÃ‚Â||Jason||Gomersall||QLD||1974||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana SL/R 5000||5000cc||White/Blue|
|46||THD Motorsport||Leo||Tobin||VIC||1969||Ford||Boss Mustang||5000cc||Orange|
|48||Adelaides Cheapest Cars||Eddie||Abelnica||VIC||1974||Ford||Falcon XB Coupe||5800cc||Red|
|60||Glennan Transport / Dulux||Cameron||Tilley||NSW||1969||Valiant||Pacer||4390cc||Blue|
|74||Lyndways Builders||Wayne||Mercer||VIC||1971||Ford||Falcon XY GTHO||5800cc||Light Blue|
|85||Whiteline Racing / King Springs||Mark||King||QLD||1970||Chevrolet||Camaro RS||5800cc||Red/White|
|88||TIFS – Warehousing & Distribution||Tony||Karanfilovski||NSW||1969||Ford||Mustang Trans Am||5800cc||Orange|
|95||Lubrimaxx Racing||Andrew||Miedecke||NSW||1969||Chevrolet||Camaro SS||5800cc||Black|