Bowe and Mustang ‘Sally’ win Touring Car Masters Adelaide
The final race of the weekend, the first weekend of the season, and it would be Bowe and Bullas launching off the line, the all Mustang line up dominating at the front of the field in what has been an action packed, high and low round one of the Touring Car Masters.
As the lights went green, Bowe charged from P1, Bullas right on the #18 as Nelson shot his Porsche to the inside and Pye headed towards the pit wall to make a move around the traffic. Through the chicane, the field was nose to tail, Benson in a freight train of muscle, skipping across the curbs while Richards and Pye went side by side through turns nine and ten.
Pushing hard to catch Bowe, the #16 Mustang of Bullas had a moment through turn eight in a repeat of yesterday’s near miss, while Abelnica had seemingly overcome the engine concerns that had plagued his weekend, charging through the pack from 24th to 15th.
There was a battle of the Australian muscle cars on between Kassulke and Youlden inside the top seven, and Miedecke too was feeling the pinch, a tank slapper slide into turn fourteen almost put the Camaro into the side of Bullas as they came around to start lap three.
Richards was the fastest on track, O’Brien was busy looking for the gap to send his HQ past the Nelson Porsche and on to the challenges ahead, with Walmsley almost tied up in the battle but settling back into position. Having arrived in Adelaide with a new engine, Westwood would suffer the fieriest of exits as his engine exploded along Pit Straight in a display of smoke and fire, leaving the GTHO burnt and stranded at turn one.
As the safety car slowed the field on lap five, Bowe’s lead was brought back to Bullas and Miedecke, with Richards and Pye holding out the top five. With the Westwood entry cleared from the circuit, the safety car returned to pit lane to leave the remaining muscle cars with a one lap dash to the flag. Approaching the final turn to go back to race speed, Hunter slid his HQ sideways through turn 14, before King made his pass through the chicane with pace and extreme commitment.
Hunting Bowe, Bullas went wide and over the curbing on the run to the back straight, while an outstanding performance from Abelnica now saw the XB Coupe into fifth, having gained 19 positions in the space of some five racing laps. With Bowe heading for his second win of the new season, Miedecke and Bullas came into the final turn still fighting for second, Miedecke looking to the inside of the Bullas Mustang, contact was made and Bullas was left to wait for the field to pass. As Richards and Pye approached to gain position, Pye was out on the grass to avoid, while Miedecke moved around the Mustang ahead to storm along the straight and secure second place.
The final race to close round one of eight for the showcase of muscle car classics that is the Touring Car Masters ended with Bowe’s continuing dominant form, taking two race wins and the outright round win, Miedecke and Richards also on the Class A podium, while in the revised Class B, Hunter stood tall to secure the win, with Stillwell and Benson closing the top three
“When you win the round it’s a good thing to achieve. The car has always been good here, it suits the circuit. It’s been great all weekend, hasn’t missed a beat, and the only hiccup was the damage to the bonnet. We were surprised when we had a supporter lend me the bonnet of his ’69 Mustang off his road car which is just amazing to have that support.”
“We’re strong but we need to pick up some pace.
“Contact is the last thing you want to do, but there was an opportunity ahead so I went and had a try, but then positions on the road changed and I couldn’t slow down on the curb so it happens.”
“I’d rather not have had to come through the field in race two, but we found an issue that while it wasn’t costing horsepower, it was costing driveability, especially when you drop the clutch. I’ve done practice starts, and after putting yourself in a bad position, you just want to make amends which I think the rear to third achieved.”
“It’s been a long time out of the car, Sandown 2010, so I had to get back in the car.
“We had a great thing with Jason (Richards) last year, and I must say that one of his memories of the car is that we haven’t changed the setup in any way whatsoever, it’s the way he left it. He had said ‘whatever you do, don’t touch this – I’ve got it the best it’s going to get. You wouldn’t know what I’ve done so just go and drive it.’ So I’ve done exactly that.
“It’s very enjoyable being back racing in this series, a new season, a good field and we’re looking forward to running the whole season this year as TCM is going a long way.”
“It’s great to have another result, especially to start the year in the strongest of fields.
“The racing is going to be really tight this season, and with the new penalty system this year that is accumulative, by round three, I would say the gentlemen’s racing class will be really tight.”