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New Metal Ready For Winton Touring Car Masters Return
Posted by: newsla on Mar 26, 2014 - 11:55 AM
Sports Cars
New Metal Ready For Winton Touring Car Masters Return

NEW CARS AND STARS will add further spice to the ENZED Touring Car Masters Series when it returns to Winton Motor Raceway in regional Victoria next week.


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The Winton TCM Cup will be held in conjunction with the third event of the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship and will feature three brand new car and driver combinations set to make their respective TCM debuts.

Amongst a roster featuring six different brands and more than ten different models, the first Pontiac Firebird to compete in TCM will debut in the hands of experienced Queenslander, Ian Palmer.

The former Australian GT Championship and V8 Supercar racer has progressively built his 1970 Pontiac from scratch with the car to make its track debut at Winton.

The debut of the Pontiac brand adds to the diversity of the ‘pony car’ battle in TCM that has Mustang and Camaro regularly head to head at the front of the field.

“The build has been underway for eight months and I think I’ve built V8 Supercars with less in them than this car,” Palmer said.

“I didn’t realise the enormity of the kind of build required for TCM cars. You’re making a car that doesn’t do this kind of thing, do it! It’s been good fun because we’ve gone back to the days where you do everything from scratch.”

The laconic Queenslander is well-known for introducing diverse machinery to the sport in an effort to do ‘something different’ - with his exploits behind the wheel of the popular, yet often troublesome, Brabham Honda NSX in Nations Cup competition a case in point.

“I did the Pontiac because I have pride and didn’t want to do a Mustang... or any Ford product!” Palmer joked.

“Mainly, I did it because there have been no other Pontiac’s out there so it’s something different. You’ve got plenty of Mustangs, Monaro’s and the like out there so it’s good to have something new... and it’s a cool looking car!

“Some people have said, I think somewhat unkindly, that it’s basically a Camaro with a different nose so on that basis it should make a good race car!”

After taking some time out of the hot seat to build the Pontiac – and other projects underway in his Brisbane workshop – Palmer says he is keen to get back into a competitive environment against old rivals.

“I’m just happy to get back in the seat and into something competitive,” He explained.

“It’s not about where I finish but as long as I’m in and amongst it. I’ve got a lot of friendships from the GT days as well, so it will be good fun... I suppose I’m a bit of a social butterfly.. and that’s the way I fly!”

Palmer’s Pontiac will join two other new additions to the TCM grid at Winton; Tony Hunter’s highly anticipated Chevrolet Monza 2+2 now ready for its track debut.

Northern Territory-based Bruce McLeod will take the covers off his five-litre V8-powered Ford Falcon XA Superbird – the first two-door XA to compete against the existing XBs entered by Eddie Abelnica and Keith Kassulke.

Also new to the series at Winton will be former Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge winner, Sven Burchartz.

The Melbourne lawyer will make a national-level comeback at Winton, following several seasons racing a classic Porsche at state level, as part of a mutli-round sharing agreement with Chris Stilwell. Burzhartz will pilot Stilwell's 1968 Ford Mustang for as many as four rounds this year, entered in the new ProSports class.

The ENZED TCM will compete at Winton for the first time since the 2010 season with existing qualifying and race lap records expected to fall in the face of the extremely competitive 2014-spec field next week.

The Winton TCM Cup will include practice, qualifying and three races across the weekend with trophies up for grabs in the ProMasters, ProAm and ProSports categories.

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