PRE-WINTON TCM NOTEBOOK
THE Paynter Dixon Touring Car Masters series returns to Winton Raceway this weekend for the third event on the 2018 schedule.
The seventh eighth and ninth races on the calendar plus another combative Dometic Trophy Race are set to be highly competitive affairs.
Here’s a look at some of the talking points heading into the weekend.
FRESH from his breakthrough maiden Paynter Dixon Touring Car Masters race victory in Tasmania Jason Gomersall has every right to be in a good mindset heading into this weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s round at Winton.
Despite dramas during last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s second race Winton remains the QueenslanderÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s strongest TCM circuit.
Twelve months ago Gomersall qualified on pole at the venue his first in TCM.
A year prior to that he also qualified on the front row which was up to last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pole his best qualifying performance.
JASONÃ¢â‚¬â„¢S qualifying margin last year to score pole was just 0.0200s making it the second closest 1-2 margin in TCM history.
The year prior he lost pole by 0.08s Ã¢â‚¬â€œ at the time the 11th closest margin in the series.
RYAN HANSFORD has every right to feel like he’s due for a result.
The Queenslander has been one of the most rapid drivers in the paddock this year aboard the Multispares Torana but things have not gone totally smoothly.
Recurring steering issues throughout the opening two rounds have hindered otherwise superb performances from the Peters Motorsport-run car.
Hansford scored pole at the final round of the 2017 season and finished on the podium in Tasmania despite his issues.
With Adam Bressington and Jason Gomersall having broken their respective first-win ducks this year Hansford must surely be close to adding his name to that list as well.
WINTONÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tight and twisty layout plays to the hands of those with less capacity and as such less weight.
TCMÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s performance adjustment system helps level the playing field with cars with larger capacity gaining more weight.
The sweet spot seems to be those cars with five-litre engines which can still produce over 600bhp but without the weight handicap that the 5.8-litre cars sustain Ã¢â‚¬â€œ perfect for a place with many corners like Winton.
No car with more than a five-litre engine has qualified on the front row at Winton for the last three years.
Meanwhile five-litre cars have won the last nine straight races at Winton. Jim Richards won race three in 2014 in the 289ci Falcon Sprint with John Bowe winning six of the next seven in his Torana.
Glenn Seton (302 Mustang) and Adam Garwood last year (Torana) have also won races at Winton in that stretch.
DESPITE THAT it was still a Ã¢â‚¬ËœbigÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ car that won the round last year; Eddie Abelnica took the overall honours in his XB GT Falcon CoupeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ despite not winning a race.
It was only the fourth time a TCM round has been won by a driver not winning a race.
PREVIOUS Winton round winners include Gavin Bullas (2008 & 09) John Bowe (2010 15 16) Jim Richards (2011) and Eddie Abelnica.
Bowe won five races in a row in 2015 and 2016 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ incidentally Glenn Seton was third in all of those five races as well. It was he that ended BoweÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s streak too Ã¢â‚¬â€œ winning the third race of the 2016 round with a last-lap pass in the trophy race that year.
CAMERON TILLEY has only one top-three race finish this season but his consistency has been an enormous asset to the Valliant Pacer driver this year. On outright points he was second overall in Adelaide and then backed that up with third in Tasmania Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a track least likely to suit the Pacer.
THE WINTON entry list has settled with a stout field ready to do battle at the always entertaining 3.1km circuit.
Meanwhile the category is already looking forward to the top-end swing coming up in June and July when they head back to Hidden Valley Raceway and then to Townsville for the first time.
And while Jim Richards isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t at Winton the legend of the sport will be back at Hidden Valley in a monthÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time.
FINAL ENTRY LIST
|1||Skunk Werks / Red Rock Winery||Rohan Little||Porsche||911 IROC||Aubergine|
|3||F3 Motor Auctions||Cameron MasonÃ‚Â||Ford||Mustang Fastback||Red/White|
|4||Northern BM||Phillip Showers||Ford||Escort RS 1600||Purple|
|5||ACDelco||Bruce Williams||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana SL/R 5000||Blue|
|6||Multispares Racing||Ryan Hansford||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana SL/R 5000||Yellow/Blue|
|8||Bendigo Retro Muscle Cars||Rob Burns||HoldenÃ‚Â||Monaro GTS||Black|
|9||Jesus Racing||Andrew Fisher||Ford||Falcon XY GT HO||Red|
|11||Pitman Trucks/Halkin Constructions||Graham Crawford||Ford||Falcon XA GT||Purple|
|17||WM Waste / Herrod Performance||Steve Johnson||Ford||Mustang Fastback||Yellow/Green|
|18||Wilson Security / PAYCE||John Bowe||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana A9X||Red/White|
|27||MOCOMM Motorsport Communications||Jim Pollicina||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana A9X||White|
|35||Bigmate Racing||Jason Gomersall||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana A9X Hatchback||Red/White/Black|
|44||Brett Hotchkin||Brett Hotchkin||Ford||Falcon XY GT HO||Red|
|46||THD Motorsport||Leo Tobin||Ford||Boss Mustang||Orange|
|48||Rod Hotchkin||Rod Hotchkin||Ford||Falcon XY GT HO||Blue|
|57||Graham Alexander||Graham Alexander||Chevrolet||Camaro SS||Blue|
|60||Glennan Transport / ANGLOMOIL Lubricants||Cameron Tilley||Valiant||Pacer||Blue|
|65||Cannon Trailers||Blu Cannon||Ford||Falcon XY GT HO||Red|
|69||Fataz Competition Engines||Ian Woodward||Chevrolet||Camaro SS||Gold|
|75||Ranger Lifting-Rigging-Safety||Aaron McGill||Ford||Falcon XW GT||White/Blue/Black|
|85||Whiteline Racing / King Springs||Mark King||Chevrolet||Camaro RS||Yellow|
|88||TIFS – Warehousing & Distribution||Tony Karanfilovski||Ford||Mustang Trans Am||Orange|
|90||Kalus Kenny Interlex / Skunk Werks||Sven Burchartz||Porsche||911 IROC||Orange|
|95||Whiteline Racing / vdc.com.au||Adam Bressington||Chevrolet||Camaro SS||Yellow|