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Feb 24, 2014 - 02:39 PM
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Contenders Lining Up For Enzed Tcm Success In Adelaide
Posted by: newsla on Feb 24, 2014 - 02:34 PM
Sports Cars
Contenders Lining Up For Enzed Tcm Success In Adelaide


THE ENZED Touring Car Masters will start their exciting 2014 campaign at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide this weekend and potential contenders for the title are growing in number.

 

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The opening round of a seven-event series, the ‘TCM 100’ will open the season with three races and a field full of potential race winners - especially if past form is anything to go by.

Jim Richards (Shannons Insurance 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint) and John Bowe (Dunlop Super Dealers / Wilson Security Ford Mustang Trans Am) again headline the field, but it’s another former series champion who may be the most exciting to watch this weekend.

2007 series champion and 2013’s Class B winner, Steve Mason, has upgraded his 1966 Shelby Mustang and hopes to take it towards the front of the field in an outright capacity this season.

The Sydneysider scored the most points of any driver – in either class – last season and joined an elite group of two-time TCM champions, but this year wants to be mixing it up on an outright level this year.

“The car has been on a diet and we have been able to take 60-70kg out of it since the end of last season,” Mason explained.

“By running in the open class we can remove weight and run the engine to 7,900RPM as well so we’ve got a bit more power. The only way we could get more weight out of the car is by putting a jockey behind the wheel – but it’s certainly going to be an improvement.

“We are aiming for the top six or seven on a regular basis this season, and I think against this field, that will be a great result. It is very, very competitive so if we can get to the pointy end somewhere it will be good. Our ultimate aim would be to grab a podium finish this year.

“A lot of the guys at the front are basically professionals.. if we can be the best of the ‘weekend warriors’, it will be a great result!”

Behind the ‘champion trio’ sit a group of drivers who have all shown that they have the potential to take race victories in the ultra-competitive series, for Muscle and Sports Cars built between 1964 and 1976.

Port Macquarie car dealer Andrew Miedecke has confirmed his return in the Lubrimaxx-sponsored Chevrolet Camaro run by Adelaide-based Whiteline Racing – his 1969 Camaro to be joined by Mark King in a 1970 ‘SS’ model in the two-car team.

New South Wales driver Bill Pye will debut a brand-new Chevrolet Camaro in his return to the series this weekend.

Ford XB hardtop drivers Eddie Abelnica and Keith Kassulke are both regulars at the front of the field, Kassulke breaking through for his maiden TCM race victory in the final round of the 2013 season at Phillip Island.

The popular Sydney brothers, Brad and Cameron Tilley, are also listed in their Falcon and Mustang, respectively.

Holden fans will enjoy the resurgence of the HQ Monaro, with Brett Youlden (Autolite Spark Plugs) and Les Walmsley (Outbound Racing / Treloar Roases) set to perform - both starred in the 2013 season finale when experienced historic touring car racer Walmsley taking his first TCM race victory at Phillip Island. Adelaide’s Nigel Benson returns in his No. 22 Monaro after a season on the sidelines.

The late withdrawal by Greg Crick, due to illness, doesn’t leave Chrysler fans on the sidelines: Garry Treloar (E55) and Mick Wilson (Charger R/T) both confirmed starters in Adelaide while the Porsche brigade also returns in strength: Adelaide-based duo Greg Keene and Rory O’Neill to be joined by racing legend Rusty French in the 3.6-litre German Sportscars.

The 28-car Adelaide field looks set to grow as the season progresses, with several cars set to miss the season opener only to return, or in some cases make their debuts, later in the year.

Two-time champion Gavin Bullas (Boss Mustang) will not make the starter in Adelaide, nor will the newly-built XA Falcon Superbird of Bruce McLeod.

Former Nations Cup and Australian GT racer Ian Palmer is racing to complete his brand-new Pontiac Trans-Am in time however a Winton debut looks more likely for the popular Queenslander.

The ENZED Touring Car Masters field will tackle three races at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide this weekend and will for the first time utilise rolling starts to get the action underway.

Two practice sessions will be held on Thursday, February 27, ahead of qualifying and race one (10 laps) on Friday, February 28.

One further race will be held on Saturday, March 1, and Sunday, March 2, to complete the round.

John Bowe holds the TCM Clipsal 500 lap record: 1m30.1274s, set in 2012.

The ENZED Touring Car Masters series is supported by ENZED, Rare Spares, Shannons, Unique Cars, Hoosier and Australian Sports Marketing.

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