BOWE WINS RACE ONE AS KING CROWNED
JOHN BOWE has raced to victory in the opening ENZED Touring Car Masters Race at Phillip Island today while a fighting fifth place from Mark King was enough to seal the ProAm class title for the Queensland driver.
Starting from pole Bowe eased away in the early laps and beat home Greg Crick and a fast-finishing Andrew Miedecke to win the first of three races that make up the final round of the 2014 series.
Keith Kassulke charged to fourth place while fifth was enough for King to win the class title one day early.
BoweÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s outright win closed him to within a handful of points of the ProMaster class title the Mustang driver needing only to finish tomorrowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s second race to seal another TCM crown.
King won his class in todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 7-lap race and said it was the ideal way to wrap up the ProAm class title.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a great way to finish the year and we can go out and have some fun without worrying about it tomorrowÃ¢â‚¬Â he said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is all down to Bob and Shaz (Middleton) who do an incredible job and put so much effort into it. Every round we roll up with two pristine cars that perform as good as they look and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m very grateful to them.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“All the guys who help out are volunteers and put so much time and effort into it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a real tam effort.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was a great race today and we had a good little battle there so weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re keen to have another good couple of races tomorrow to close out the year.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Behind Bowe Crick continued his strong run of recent form by scoring second just ahead of a charging Lubrimaxx Camaro driven by Andrew Miedecke.
Miedecke had started seventh however stormed through the field in the opening laps to battle with Crick in the closing laps Ã¢â‚¬â€œ setting a new TCM lap record in the process.
With Kassulke and King fourth and fifth respectively Andrew Fisher Tony Karanfilovski Brett Youlden Bill Pye and Cameron Tilley completed the top-10.
The race lost its first victim before it even began when ProSports contender Cam Mason slowed and stopped on Gardner Straight when his car cut out Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the team suspecting an electrical problem in the Shelby Mustang.
The non-finish from the young Sydneysider allowed Chris Stillwell to close in on the ProSports class title after finishing second in class today behind William Vining.
ISeek Racing Torana driver Jason Gomersall was the next major casualty crashing on the exit of turn one on the fourth lap.
Gomersall had held second on the opening lap behind Bowe however slipped to third behind Greg Crick when the Charger driver slipped past a lap later. He maintained the position for the following laps before spinning off the road on the exit of the high-speed corner at the end of Gardner straight.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t pushing too hard and was shadowing GregÃ¢â‚¬Â Gomersall explained.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think when I pulled out from behind him after the corner I lost the air on the front of the car and it unsettled it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s disappointing because the car was really good Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but it will be fine for tomorrow.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Earlier in the day John Bowe scored a record seventh-consecutive ENZED Touring Car Masters pole position when he snared the top spot over Jason Gomersall and Greg Crick.
Bowe scored pole position at every round this season and did so at Phillip Island with his seventh record-setting qualifying lap time of the season as well.
TomorrowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s second race will feature a reverse top-50% grid ensuring that Bill Pye will start his Chevy Camaro from pole position with Brett Youlden alongside.
SundayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s two races take off at 11:30am and 2:05pm respectively.