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TOURING CAR MASTERS READY FOR RETRO SANDOWN

Touring Car Masters add to retro feel at Sandown - Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

Touring Car Masters add to retro feel at Sandown – Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

The Retro game will be strong with the Touring Car Masters when the series heads to Sandown this weekend for the fifth round of the 2017 series.

As well as bringing a nearly full grid of classic muscle and sports cars from the 1960s and 1970s to one of Australia’s most historic circuits, TCM will also welcome back one of the best to ever race at Sandown – Jim Richards.

The two-time TCM champion missed the most recent round of the series due to a commitment racing at the iconic Silverstone classic event in the UK, his Group C JPS BMW 635i wowing the crowds and winning the ‘most admired car of the meeting’ award.

Richards has an imposing record at Sandown in any category, with his two wins in the Sandown 500 coming in 1985 with BMW and 1989 in a Nissan Skyline.

He also won the 1991 Australian Touring Car Championship round at the venue, as well as races in Carrera Cup, Nations Cup and more.

His form in TCM at the venue has been even more impressive: taking four round victories, winning nine races and scoring 20 top three race finishes in races at the venue – from 25 race starts.

His last TCM race win came at the venue in April last year.

Jim Richards returns to Touring Car Masters for Sandown - Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

Jim Richards returns to Touring Car Masters for Sandown – Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

The Touring Car Masters field will fully embrace the Supercars ‘retro round’ concept this weekend with drivers and cars alike.

As well as greats of the sport like Richards, John Bowe and Rusty French behind the wheel, several cars run period appropriate liveries.

Jason Gomersall’s BigMate Racing Torana A9X (Peter Brock / HDT) and Bob Wisely’s similar four-door SL/R 5000 (Bob Morris) are both presented in period liveries, while much of the field runs traditional ‘old school’ style paint as a nod to the heritage of the category.

The Touring Car Masters grid heads to Sandown amid the championship’s most competitive ever title fight, with Adam Bressington and John Bowe tied at the top of the overall standings following the last round at Queensland Raceway.

While Bowe’s Wilson Security / PAYCE Holden Torana SL/R 5000 has done plenty of winning this year, Bressington’s Fabre / Whiteline Racing Camaro has been the king of consistency and has notched up points finishes in most of the races.

While each lead their respective classes (Bowe in ProMaster and Bressington in ProAm), both are also locked together on 529 points heading into the weekend.

However, the pair are not the only title contenders with an upturn of form from Steven Johnson seeing the Ford Mustang driver now only 17 points behind the tied duo.

Johnson was a race winner at Queensland Raceway and only trailed Bowe in the round results as he heads to what should be a strong venue for his WM Waste Management / Team Johnson Ford Mustang.

Ryan Hansford sits fourth in the championship and will be buoyed by his strongest ever weekend in Touring Car Masters last time out.

Hansford won the ProAm class last time out and narrowly finished second behind Eddie Abelnica in a breathtaking final race, that saw the pair battling side-by-side in the closing stages.

The strong Sandown field welcomes back several familiar faces and classic machinery this weekend.

Sydneysider Terry Lawler returns to the series for the first time since the Clipsal 500 Adelaide following a lengthy rebuild of his Lady Luck Racing 1964 Ford Mustang coupe.

The ex-Glenn Seton car was badly damaged in Adelaide at the start of the season and has just been completely rebuilt and restored by Lawler’s team and Brad Tilley Racing.

Melinda Price will also return following her TCM debut at Winton earlier this year.

Price – who made her Supercars endurance debut at the Sandown 500 in 1997 – will celebrate her 20th anniversary of that milestone weekend behind the wheel of the myPlates XA Ford Falcon.

TCM race winner Wayne Mercer will be back in his Lindways Builders GTHO, while Queenslander Geoff Fane will make the trek down from the Sunshine state with his Camaro SS.

The TCM field will take to the track Friday for Practice and Qualifying ahead of two races on Saturday and the finale on Sunday morning.

Fans are encouraged to attend the Wilson Security Sandown 500 with the series’ to be housed in a stand-alone pit complex this weekend that will be accessible to all General Admission ticket holders attending the event.

TOURING CAR MASTERS – SANDOWN ENTRY LIST – ROUND 5

No Sponsor Name Name Surname Year Make Model
2 SHANNONS INSURANCE Jim Richards 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint
3 Hercules Engines / Lucky’s Hotel Cameron Mason 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback
4 Skye Sands Rusty French 1970 Ford Mustang Fastback
6 Multispares Racing Ryan Hansford 1974 Holden Torana SL/R 5000
7 Wisely Motorsport Bob Wisely 1974 Holden Torana SL/R 5000
8 Lady Luck Racing Terry Lawlor 1964 Ford Mustang Coupe
11 Vic Roads Custom Plates / Castrol Melinda Price 1974 Ford Falcon XA GT
12 Giraffe Civil Contracting Adam Garwood 1974 Holden Torana SL/R 5000
17 WM Waste / Illusion Gas Log Fires Steve Johnson 1969 Ford Mustang Fastback
18 Wilson Security / PAYCE John Bowe 1974 Holden Torana SL/R 5000
19 Tincone Industrial Services Darren Beale 1972 Holden Monaro GTS Coupe
35 Bigmate Racing Jason Gomersall 1978 Holden Torana A9X Hatchback
48 Melbournes Cheapest Cars Eddie Abelnica 1974 Ford Falcon XB Coupe
57 Graham Alexander Graham Alexander 1968 Holden HT Monaro GTS
72 GFR Industries Geoff Fane 1970 Chevrolet Camaro SS
74 Lyndways Builders Wayne Mercer 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO
77 Red Rock Winery / Werks Garage Rohan Little 1974 Porsche 911 IROC
85 Whiteline Racing / King Springs Mark King 1972 Holden Monaro GTS Coupe
88 TIFS – Warehousing & Distribution Tony Karanfilovski 1969 Ford Mustang Trans Am
95 Whiteline Racing / Fabre Australia Adam Bressington 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS

We’ve got more of the latest news in the lead up to the Sandown 500 in the current issue of Auto Action magazine, on sale now. In the meantime follow us on social media FacebookTwitter, Instagram or sign up for our weekly email newsletter for all the latest updates between issues.