News Richard Craill September 13, 2022 (Comments off) (100)

Falcon pair, Johnson headline Sandown TCM field

THE RETURN of three-time Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters Champion Steven Johnson highlights a the best TCM field of the season to date, as the series heads to Sandown this weekend.

The series bursts back into life at the Victorian circuit for Round 4 of the championship, 21 cars entered amidst a grid that includes the return of several familiar faces and highly popular cars.

It is, however, Johnson’s return that is likely to attract the most interest as one of the series’ most successful drivers injects himself back into an intense title fight – dominated recently by the Holden Torana’s of John Bowe and Ryan Hansford.

In one of the worst-kept secrets in the sport, Johnson will make a TCM return this weekend when he takes over the #33 Russell Hancock-owned Ford Mustang Trans Am, raced previously by Cameron Mason, for the first time this weekend.

With Mason stepping aside to spend time on his family life, and Jonson’s own Team Johnson program focussing their budget on son Jett’s Turtle Wax Trans Am Series campaign, the pair joined forces to ensure the Mustang remained on the grid.

It reunites Johnson with a similar car to the iconic #17 1969 Mustang named ‘Sally’ in which he won his three titles between 2017-2019.

Johnson isn’t the only familiar face returning this weekend, however.

Adam Bressington will make a welcome return, taking over the #95 Whiteline Racing Chevrolet Camaro SS in which he is a multiple race and round winner.

Bressington will sub for Michael Almond, who drove the car in Townsville but it still recovering from a shoulder injury and will sit this round out.

The Camaro has been completely rebuilt following the Townsville accident and will see Bressington line up alongside George Miedecke in the two-car Whiteline squad.

A pair of the hugely popular Ford Falcon XB Hardtops will race this weekend; Keith Kassulke already having confirmed his plans to return to the series for the first time in five years.

A surprising addition to the field is Victorian competitor Gary Finemore, who now owns the ex-Eddie Abelnica Falcon hardtop that was a regular winner in TCM competition.

Since purchasing the car from Abelnica, Finemore has contested a host of Victorian State Championship rounds in the ‘Vic V8’ category.

It will be the first time both cars will be on the track, together, since the 2015 season.

Meanwhile, Victorian racers Damien Gambold and Dave Hender will race in the Pro Sports class aboard their pair of XD Ford Falcons.

The class was re-categorised last year to better serve as an entry level point to TCM for both new drivers and cars where appropriate.

Hender has not raced before however he does have experience in TransAm competition, while Gambold has raced his Falcon on three prior occasions in TCM – twice at Sandown, including the series’ last visit to the circuit in 2019, and once at Winton.

Cameron Tilley’s Valiant Pacer is entered, however the Sydney team are expected to make a late decision to compete pending the completion of repairs to the iconic Aussie sedan following the Townsville accident.

The Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters field will tackle four races across the course of the Sandown weekend, running with the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships and SpeedSeries event at the famous venue.

All four races will be shown live, ad-break free and on demand via Stan Sports, while the first championship race of the weekend, to be held on Saturday afternoon, will also be broadcast live on the Nine Network around Australia.

Action commences on Friday with practice and Qualifying.

ENTRY LIST – Round 4, 2022 Gulf Western Oils Touring Car Masters Series

3Pro AmWestern General Body worksDannyBuzadzicVICHoldenTorana A9XWhite
6Pro MasterMultispares RacingRyanHansfordQLDHoldenTorana A9XYellow/Blue
7Pro MasterMoCOMM Motorsport CommsJimPollicinaNSWHoldenTorana A9XWhite/Black/Red
12Pro SportDupulo Wheels Gold CoastPeterBurnittQLDHoldenTorana A9XWhite
15Pro AmJesus RacingAndrewFisherNSWHoldenTorana SL/R 5000White/Red
18Pro MasterRare Spares /PAYNTER DIXONJohnBoweVICHoldenTorana SL/R 5000Black/White
29Pro AmG&V Earthmoving/ BedrugJamieTilleyNSWFordMustang CoupeBlack
33Pro MasterHancock RacingStevenJohnsonNSWFordMustang Trans AmSilver/Green
37Pro SportGambold MechanicalDamienGambold0FordXD FalconRed
46Pro AmHillier Brothers / JT ElectricalLeoTobinVICFordMustangOrange
48Pro SportMentone Pre Mix ConcreteGaryFinemoreVICFordFalcon XB CoupeRed
52Pro AmWheels Ltd, PNGKeithKassulkePNGFordFalcon XB CoupeSilver
53Pro SportPearcedale Plant Hire/Move myLoadDaveHender0FordFalcon XY GT HOBlue
55Pro SportBullet Trailers Racing TeamJohnAdamsVICFordFalcon XY GT HOWhite
60Pro AmAnglomoil Superior LubricantsCameronTilleyNSWValiantPacerBlue
69Pro MastersACM Auto PartsCameronMcConvilleVICChevroletCamaro SSGold
77Pro SportSNB Berryman RacingWarrenTrewinVICHoldenHQ MonaroBlue
85Pro AmDaimler Trucks Adelaide/Ausblue/NTI InsuranceGeorgeMiedeckeQLDChevroletCamaro RSYellow
88Pro AmTIFS Third Party LogisticsTonyKaranfilovskiNSWFordMustang Trans AmOrange
95Pro MasterDaimler Trucks Adelaide/Ausblue/NTI InsuranceAdamBressington0ChevroletCamaro SSYellow
99Pro AmFast Meals / Bespoke Financial AdvisoryBenDunnNSWChevroletMonzaWhite

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