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March 5, 2016 | General

RITTER BRINGS THE HEAT AT CLIPSAL 500

CHEVROLET MONZA racer Greg Ritter has continued his perfect start to the 2016 Touring Car Masters season by taking race two on a sweltering Saturday at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.

Starting from pole thanks to his race one victory on Friday Ritter and race one runner-up John Bowe ran side-by-side into turn one – Bowe clouting the inside tyre barrier and bending the steering arm on his Wilson Security / PAYCE Holden Torana SL/R 5000.

The defending champion slowed briefly as he assessed the damage dropping to fifth place before building up to speed.

Ritter pressed on in front and established a small yet stable lead en route to his second straight victory while behind them the contenders stacked up in the battle for second.

Glenn Seton held second place for the first three laps before a storming Jim Richards stormed past in the Shannons AMC Javelin.

Richards’ would close in on leader Ritter however slowed dramatically on the ninth lap when a pulley on the front of the engine sheared off taking the fan belt with it.

With no water pump Richards was forced to shut off the engine before any permanent damage occurred though he will be forced out of the remainder of the weekend.

That elevated the Adelaide’s Cheapest Cars Ford Falcon XB Coupe to second place Eddie Abelnica brisk in his pursuit of Ritter in the closing laps – setting a new TCM Clipsal 500 lap record at 1m29.8211s during the race.

The Falcon ultimately settled for a fine second place while John Bowe elevated himself to third at the line after taking advantage of first Richards and then Glenn Seton’s dramas during the race.

Seton’s Thunder Road Racing team Ford Mustang sweltered in the Adelaide heat the double Australian Touring Car / V8 Supercar champion slowing his car on the straights in the second half of the race ultimately dropping to fifth at the finish.

Andrew Miedecke stormed through the field to finish fourth in his Whiteline Racing Chevrolet Camaro – having started ninth.

Steven Johnson finished sixth despite dragging his exhaust home for eight of the ten laps when the mounts broke early.

Paul Freestone again impressed to finish seventh holding off an incredible four car battle pack for the final spots of the top 10.

Mark King finished just behind the similar Camaro in eighth Andrew Fisher ninth and Jason Gomersall tenth.

The four cars ran nose-to-tail for much of the race in an entertaining battle that often saw the group two or even three abreast at times.

Greg Keene failed to start the race after his Porsche 911 RS sheared the flywheel bolts yesterday while Karanfilovski was unable to repair the damage he sustained yesterday.

Cameron Tilley again failed to finish in the Valliant Pacer with a recurrence of their oil pressure dramas.

The third and final race of the opening round of the 2016 Touring Car Masters will be contested over 10 laps at 10:55am local time on Sunday.