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Apr 06, 2014 - 06:22 AM
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Richards Evens The Score With Winton Win
Posted by: newsla on Apr 06, 2014 - 06:22 AM
Sports Cars
Richards Evens The Score With Winton Win

JIM RICHARDS has returned serve to his old rival John Bowe and taken the second round of the ENZED Touring Car Masters Series at Winton Motor Raceway this weekend.


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Bowe won the season opener in Adelaide, but Richards’ levelled the score at Winton – but one of the most even years in TCM history has a wide array of potential winners showing their hand so far this year.

Richards won race three of the weekend which, coupled with a storming victory by Tony Karanfilovski in race two earlier in the day, means five different drivers have won races in TCM this year and each round has featured three different winners.

Richards and Bowe tied for the ProMasters class round victory, the Shannons Insurance Ford Falcon Sprint driver winning on a countback by virtue of finishing ahead in the final race. Eddie Abelnica’s consistent top-three form this weekend netted him third overall in the Melbourne’s Cheapest Cars XB Falcon Hardtop.

Karanfilovski (Mustang) headed Mark King (Camaro) and Carey McMahon (Torana) in ProAm while Tony Hunter won the ProSports class on the debut of his new Chevrolet Monza, Greg Keene (Porsche) and William Vining (Mustang) finishing second and third, respectively.

“Any win is a good win. The car was good and it looked after its tyres. It was very enjoyable,” Richards said.

“It is very competitive this season and it’s great to see how the whole field has taken a step up in performance this year, there are more winners and more competitive cars which is great.”

Following Bowe’s strong victory in race one on Saturday, Karanfilovski impressively rebounded from an error in the opening race to win the second, a reverse top-10 affair held on Sunday morning.

The Mustang driver started on the second row and stormed to second on the opening lap, taking advantage of a power steering failure on early leader Brett Youlden’s Holden Monaro to take a lead he would never lose.

He controlled an entertaining race that saw the remaining positions inside the top ten chop and change for a majority of the 10-lap duration.

Yesterday’s winner John Bowe started tenth and was running fourth before a last-lap altercation between Keith Kassulke and Andrew Miedecke saw the pair collide at turn one; both running off the road and allowing Bowe to sweep through to second position.

Eddie Abelnica finished third and Jim Richards fourth whilst Kassulke and Miedecke were able to limp damaged cars home in fifth and sixth, respectively. Mark King, Carey McMahon, Jason Gomersall and Tony Hunter finished eighth through tenth, respectively.

Richards made the stronger start in race three, leading the field into turn one and taking the victory despite constant pressure from his for major rivals. He led home Abelnica and Karanfilovski to take the victory – Miedecke and Bowe also in close company with the top five covered by just three seconds at the line.

Keith Kassulke and Mark King diced for sixth and seventh position for much of the race, finishing in front of Carey McMahon, Sven Burchartz and Tony Hunter.

Burchartz claimed his first ProSports class race victory in the third race after twice finishing second behind Hunter in the earlier races.

After a sparkling Saturday performance, Greg Keene had a frustrating Sunday that saw him battle engine issues in his Porsche that saw him slip down the order.

Cameron Mason, Mick Wilson, Paul Freesone and Jason Gomersall also struck dramas and failed to finish the final race.
Tony Hunter and his team were awarded the Meguiar’s / Liqui-Moly ‘Goes Good, Looks Great’ award thanks to the impressive debut performance and immaculate presentation of his Chevrolet Monza.

Tony Karanfilovski was awarded a $1000 voucher from PWR for winning the ‘Cool Master’ award, thanks to his impressive comeback performance in race two after his disappointment in the first race.

TCM newcomers Bruce McLeod won the Rare Spares Achievement Award for their efforts in just making the grid this weekend and, despite no prior testing or any laps in practice, completed all three races and improved lap times by ten seconds each race.

The next round of the ENZED Touring Car Masters series will be held at the SKYCITY Triple Crown at Darwin, between June 20-22.

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