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Mar 01, 2014 - 06:34 PM
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Elmo' Takes Debut ENZED TCM Victory
Posted by: newsla on Mar 01, 2014 - 06:33 PM
Sports Cars
Elmo' Takes Debut ENZED TCM Victory


HE’S Nicknamed ‘Elmo’ and carries a soft-toy version of the iconic Sesame Street character alongside him in his car – but there was nothing child-like about Mark King’s maiden victory in the ENZED Touring Car Masters series today at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.

 

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King – who was given the nickname by his team because of his ‘furry’ face and the fact he drives a bright red car – is a two-time Australian GT Production Car champion but had to wait until today to take his maiden TCM triumph, driving for Adelaide-based Whiteline Racing in a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro.

After a series of second-place previous bests, King today beat home John Bowe and Keith Kassulke in another dramatic 10-lap affair, held in front of a bumper Saturday crowd in Adelaide.

The Queensland driver is part of the two-car Whiteline team, owned by Bob and Sharyn Middleton, with Andrew Miedecke. For a team used to winning with their second car – driven by Andrew Miedecke – there was pride in having the other team car do the job for the first time today.

“It’s great to finally get a win for the ‘second car’ in the team because it’s not been done before,” King said.

“I’m really happy to have done it because it’s a great reward for all the hard work and effort that Bob and Sharyn have put into the team and the category, and for putting such a strong team together.

“It’s great to show what they can do with both cars.”

King started the race third – in a grid set by reversing the top thirteen cars from yesterday’s opening race – but early dramas saw him jump to second on the opening lap.

He pressured early leader Jason Gomersall’s iSeek Holden Torana SLR 5000 early and slipped past before sprinting away to take the win.

“The plan was always to try and get Jason early because I knew I probably had better car speed than he did,” King explained.

“I thought that he would slow the others up so I wanted to get in front and pull away as much as I could. When I got there, I just put my head down, pressed on and enjoyed it!”

A furious battle for second place was held behind the runaway Red Camaro out in front, John Bowe fighting his way through from the bottom of the top-10 to ultimately score second in the final corner.

Bowe took advantage of a ‘moment’ by Falcon driver Keith Kassulke to slip past exiting the final corner and score the position, with Kassulke completing the podium.

Jason Gomersall was a career-best fourth, Eddie Abelnica fifth and Brett Youlden sixth. Jim Richards, Andrew Miedecke, Carey McMahon and Steve Mason completed the top ten with second to 10th covered by just seven seconds at the line.

The opening of today’s race was marred by a hefty crash at the start, when the front-row starting Torana of Carey McMahon appeared to falter as the field came to the green flag.

In trying to take last-minute evasive action, Bill Pye hit the back of the Torana and was subsequently impacted by Brad Tilley. Whilst McMahon was able to continue, both Tilley’s GTHO Falcon and Pye’s stunning new Camaro were damaged in the incident.

Race one winner Tony Karanfilovski was caught up in the impact and forced out of the race as a result – though the Ford Mustang driver says the car should be ready to race again tomorrow.

The ENZED Touring Car Masters will complete the opening round of their 2014 season tomorrow with a final 10-lap race tomorrow morning, to complete the TCM100.

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


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