September 14, 2017 | General


SANDOWN will be the second-most prolific venue on the Touring Car Masters calendar following the conclusion of this weekend by which point the series should have completed 30 races at the suburban Melbourne venue – tying it for second with the Adelaide street circuit on the all-time list.

Only Sydney Motorsport Park – with 33 races – has seen more Touring Car Masters action.

The 3.1km circuit has also been the most competitive in the series history with a reputation for throwing up unpredictable results and close action.

In qualifying the series has the closest average pole winning margin of any track TCM has raced at more than twice – the tiny 0.28s average gap between first and second on the grid easily the smallest.

No one has ever scored pole by more than a second at Sandown – which can’t be said for any other track to have had more than two qualifying sessions.

For the record John Bowe edging out Andrew Miedecke for pole by 0.0408s in 2012 is the closest ever pole margin at Sandown which saw some revenge for Miedecke bumping Bowe from pole by 0.9440s – the biggest – two years earlier.

Bowe has only two pole positions (out of his 47) at Sandown making it easily his worse track for the one-lap dash.

INTERESTINGLY five different models have won the last five times TCM has visited Sandown.

Jim Richards powered his AMC Javelin to its first TCM round win in early 2012 while Bowe took Mustang Sally to the top of the podium on the return visit later that year.

Andrew Miedecke then won with his Chevrolet Camaro the next year his 350 Chevrolet power doing the business.

Richards won again in 2014 this time racing his Falcon Sprint which proved that – at least if you’re Jim Richards – cubic inches aren’t everything up and down Sandown’s long straights.

Bowe continued that theory in 2016 when his five-litre Torana held out the more powerful Richards’ Javelin and Steve Johnson’s GTHO Falcon to win the round.

THE LAST seven races have been won by seven different cars too; Andy Miedecke’s final win in his 2013 clean sweep aboard the Whiteline Camaro was followed by Greg Crick (Charger) John Bowe (Mustang) and Jim Richards (Javelin) taking the next three races in 2014.

When the series returned in 2016 Richards was back on top – this time in the Falcon Sprint – with Bowe (Torana) and Andrew Fisher (Falcon GTHO) winning the other races.

Miedecke’s clean sweep of the weekend in 2013 was not only his best ever weekend in TCM it was the only time someone has won all three races at the Melbourne venue.

Six of the nine TCM rounds to date at Sandown have featured three different race winners from the three races!

AUSSIE muscle has been doing a lot of wining the last few years.

Australian-built cars won just 20 of the first 183 Touring Car Masters races split between Brad Tilley in his GTHO Falcon plus occasional wins for Glenn Seton Keith Kassulke and Eddie Abelnica in XB Falcon Coupe’s Leanne Tander in the XA Falcon Les Walmsley and Brett Youlden in HQ Monaro’s and Greg Crick’s Charger.

However since the debut of the Torana in John Bowe’s hands it’s been doing a lot of winning winning 27 times since the Winton round two years ago in 2015. Adam Garwood has won three of those races.  

However it’s not just Torana domination. In fact while the Falcon GTHO won four times between 2007 and the 2015 season it has won races on seven occasions since then.

Chevrolet Camaros and Jim Richards’ Falcon Sprint have had some long times away from the top of the podium too.

While the last time a TCM Camaro (Colin Meadows Central Muscle Cars Camaro won at Bathurst last year) won was Andrew Miedecke in race three of the 2015 season opener in Adelaide Richards’ last win in the Sprint came a year prior at Bathurst.

Eddie Abelnica’s round win at Winton earlier this year came without winning a race just the fourth time in TCM history that has occurred.

Ironically while Eddie won race three at Queensland Raceway last time out he didn’t even make it onto the overall podium.

AND FINALLY Ford need just one more round victory to score their 50th Touring Car Masters round win.