UPGRADED FALCON SPRINT TO RETURN IN QUEENSLAND
JIM RICHARDS will unveil an upgraded Ford Falcon Sprint when he returns to his title-winning ride at the fifth round of the Touring Car Masters series next week in Queensland.
With his Shannons Insurance AMC Javelin garaged for repairs and maintenance Richards has upgraded his famous 1964 Falcon with a 302-cubic inch Ford V8 and several other developmental pieces designed to make it go even quicker.
HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s set to run the wildly popular Shannons-backed Ford for the remainder of the season and is looking forward to getting it back on track starting at next weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Supercars Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is very popular and every round I have people coming up to me and asking Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwhen is the Sprint coming backÃ¢â‚¬Â Richards said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gone up to a 302 from the 289 and the car has had a complete rebuild Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the gearbox diff and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been through basically every nut and bolt. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good to go.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We could have raced the Javelin but the Sprint was good to go so weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll run that and the intention is to run it for the rest of the year.Ã¢â‚¬Â
RichardsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ believes the car will be quicker than ever Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but maintains enjoying his racing remains the overall objective.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It will be quicker but it will still be a big ask to go against the ToranaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢sÃ¢â‚¬Â Richards added.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“As well as the engine IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been allowed to add a front spoiler and a small rear wing which should make a difference Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and the car actually looks really nice.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not worried about winning – as long as the car is competitive IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be happy.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The revitalised Falcon should be a strong contender in Queensland given its track record at the venue: In RichardsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ hands the Sprint won the inaugural QR TCM round in 2009 and was a race winner again in 2013.
Richards will be part of a strong 26-car grid contesting the Rare Spares Ipswich Tourist Trophy round next weekend.
Home-town hero Steven Johnson heads to the circuit in the best form of his Touring Car Masters season having won the most recent round held at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin. The top-end success behind the wheel of his Synergy Race engines Falcon GTHO drew him to within nine points of series leader John Bowe heading into the second half of the season.
Johnson won the 2015 round at Queensland Raceway scoring pole and three race wins driving BoweÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ford Mustang.
Just 72 points split first through fourth place in the ProMaster standings heading into the second half of the season Bowe and Johnson trailed closely by Eddie Abelnica and Glenn Seton in their flying Fords.
Abelnica scored his second podium of the season in Darwin while Seton scored his second second-place overall effort in his Thunder Road Racing Team Mustang and will like his chances for an overall round victory at the 3.1km six-turn Queensland circuit.Ã‚Â
iSeek Racing Holden Torana A9X driver Jason Gomersall will continue his search for an outright race victory at his home track fresh from another strong performance in Darwin.
Gomersall will be counting on the local knowledge he and his Matt Stone Racing outfit possess at QR the team having tested several times at the venue whilst developing the stunning HDT-liveried Torana prior to its racing debut at Winton earlier this year.
Another contender could be Adam Bressington who will make his return to the series driving the Whiteline Racing ’69 Camaro raced in Darwin by Bob Middleton.
The New South Wales driver raced in TCM between 2012 and 2014 including a competitive 2013 season racing a HQ Monaro GTS 350.
Bressington has a trio of top-three race finishes to his credit including a personal best of second outright in the second of three races at Bathurst in 2013.
An expanded Queensland grid includes the return of several Touring Car Masters regulars some of them for the first time this year.
Local TransAm series racer Brett Curran will compete in his 1967 Ford Mustang as will fellow local Grant Wilson in his 1968 Camaro while Allan Boughen will return his incredible 1963 Mercury Comet to the series for the first time this year.
Meanwhile four IROC Challenge Porsche 911 RSs will re-join the TCM grid: Sven Burchartz Greg Keene Rory OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Neill and Rohan Little all familiar faces to the series.
Popular racer Cameron Tilley will miss the round following their Darwin engine dramas: The Sydney-based team now working on a new powerplant for the Ã¢â‚¬ËœworldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fastest PacerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
Falcon GTHO racer Wayne Mercer will also be forced to miss the Queensland round despite scoring his maiden TCM race victory in DarwinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Waeco Trophy race. Due to business commitments and repairs to his GTHO.
The Rare Spares Queensland Tourist Trophy event will be staged across three races next weekend Ã¢â‚¬â€œ each to be shown live on FOX Sports.
RARE SPARES QUEENSLAND TOURIST TROPHY / ROUND 5 ENTRY:
|2||Shannons Insurance||Jim||Richards||VIC||1963||Ford||Falcon Sprint||5000cc||White/Green|
|4||Skye Sands||Rusty||French||VIC||1970||Ford||Mustang Fastback||5800cc||Black|
|7||Werks Garage / Red Rock Winery||RohanÃ‚Â||Little||VIC||1974||Porsche||911 RS IROC||3600cc||Silver|
|8||Sportsmed SA||GregÃ‚Â||Keene||SA||1974||Porsche||911 RS IROC||3600cc||White|
|9||Jesus Racing||Andrew||Fisher||NSW||1971||Ford||Falcon XY GTHO||5800cc||Grey/Red|
|12||Giraffe Civil Contracting||Adam||Garwood||TAS||1974||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana SL/R 5000||5047cc||White|
|13||Mark Poole Motorsport||Rory||O’Neill||SA||1974||Porsche||911 RS IROC||3600cc||Grey/Silver|
|17||Synergy Race Engines||Steve||Johnson||QLD||1971||Ford||Falcon XY GTHO||5800cc||White|
|18||Wilson Security / PAYCE||John||Bowe||VIC||1974||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana SL/R 5000||5047cc||Red/White|
|19||Tincone Industrial Services||Darren||Beale||QLD||1972||HoldenÃ‚Â||Monaro GTS Coupe||5800cc||Orange|
|21||Giraffe Civil Contracting||Greg||Garwood||TAS||1972||Ford||Capri Perana||5000cc||Blue|
|22||Aussie Muscle Car Run / PRT Fabrication||Graham||Stewart||SA||1972||HoldenÃ‚Â||Monaro GTS Coupe||5800cc||Silver/Orange|
|25||Angliss Meats||Brett||Curran||QLD||1967||Ford||Mustang Fastback||5800cc||White/Red|
|30||Thunder Road Racing Team Australia||Glenn||Seton||QLD||1964||Ford||Mustang Coupe||5000cc||Black/Gold|
|35||iseek RacingÃ‚Â||Jason||Gomersall||QLD||1978||HoldenÃ‚Â||Torana A9X Hatchback||5000cc||Red/White/Black|
|46||THD Motorsport||Leo||Tobin||VIC||1969||Ford||Boss Mustang||5000cc||Orange|
|48||Brisbane’s Cheapest Cars||Eddie||Abelnica||VIC||1974||Ford||Falcon XB Coupe||5800cc||Red|
|52||Outbound Racing / wheels.com.pg||Keith||Kassulke||QLD||1973||HoldenÃ‚Â||Monaro GTS Coupe||5800cc||Blue|
|57||Corio Auto Parts||Graham||Alexander||VIC||1969||HoldenÃ‚Â||HT Monaro||5800cc||Orange|
|65||Cannon Trailers||Michael (Blu)||Cannon||QLD||1971||Ford||Falcon XY GTHO||5800cc||Red|
|68||Trans Am Race Engineering||Grant||Wilson||QLD||1968||Chevrolet||Camaro SS||5800cc||Yellow|
|85||Whiteline Racing / King Springs||Mark||King||QLD||1970||Chevrolet||Camaro RS||5800cc||Red/White|
|88||TIFS – Warehousing & Distribution||Tony||Karanfilovski||NSW||1969||Ford||Mustang Trans Am||5800cc||Orange|
|90||Werks Garage / Kalus Kenny Iterlex||Sven||Burchartz||VIC||1974||Porsche||911 RS IROC||3600cc||Orange|
|95||Whiteline Racing / Fabre Australia||Adam||Bressington||NSW||1969||Chevrolet||Camaro SS||5800cc||Yellow|
|97||John’s Furniture Removals||Allen||Boughen||QLD||1963||Mercury||Comet||4736cc||Black/Blue|
PHOTO: Michael Yates / via Facebook