November 20, 2017 | General


HOME TOWN hero Cameron Mason is hoping to steal some of the limelight amidst the closest Touring Car Masters title fight in series history when the grand finale’ is contested this weekend in Newcastle.

The Hunter local will be targeting a Touring Car Masters win at the Coates Hire Newcastle 500 in front of his home town friends family and supporters – while Australian motorsport hero John Bowe and Steven Johnson battle for the overall title in the series’ closest ever showdown.

Bowe leads Johnson by just five points heading into the two final races of the year in a battle of classic Ford and Holden Muscle Cars.

For Mason however this weekend will be the realisation of a once unlikely dream to race in his home town.

“It’s hard to believe it’s a reality†said Mason who like his TCM championship-winning father Steve has spent his life in the Hunter region.

“It was such an ambitious undertaking and it seems the organisers have executed perfectly. The track and the surface look great and I think the TCM cars will be a highlight of the weekend – the local fans really get behind our form of racing so we’re going to put on a great show.â€Â

Mason has enjoyed support from a host of locally based businesses with his 1966 Ford Mustang fastback on show at the local Lucky’s Hotel this week ahead of the event commencing.

Even locally-based Plus Fitness – who have supported Newcastle’s Supercars driver Aaron Russell for several seasons – jumped on board to support the team.

“The buzz around town for the event is huge – it really feels like it has the potential to be one of the major event stops of the year. It’s going to be quite an iconic circuit and things like the view from Fort Scratchly the Monaco-style big boat mooring in the harbour and the concerts!â€Â

Mason has spent plenty of time walking and driving the circuit during its construction and says it is likely to provide plenty of excitement.

“For the drivers it’s going to be a challenging track to get right†he explained.

“there’s a lot of off-camber downhill corners while braking and lots of wild pieces of race track with little to no forgiveness it’s going to be a huge challenge.

“It will be a massive weekend and I can’t wait to get on track Friday and see how it goes.â€Â

To score a victory on his home circuit Mason will have to bypass a remarkable championship battle for the overall Touring Car Masters championship title that will surely go down to the final race.

Four drivers remain in mathematical championship calculation 93 points covering leader John Bowe Steven Johnson Adam Bressington and Ryan Hansford with 120 up for grabs in the two races.

However just five split Bowe and Johnson at the front of the field essentially making it a winner-take-all finale between the pair.

Each has won five times this year with Johnson winning two races en route to the round victory at Mount Panorama Bathurst last time the series raced.

The TCM title fight mirrors the Supercars championship battle with a multiple champion driving a Holden taking on a Ford driver yet to win the championship in a winner-take-all finale’.

Whiteline Racing’s Adam Bressington sits third overall and only 25 markers from the leader meaning he can also be considered a real contender.

The Camaro is yet to win a race this season however the last round at Bathurst was the best of the year for the Whiteline Racing entry qualifying on the front row alongside Johnson – and in front of Bowe – and scoring the third-most points of the weekend.

In mathematical contention is Queenslander Ryan Hansford who sits 93 points from the lead in fourth place.

The Peters Motorsport Multispares Torana has evolved into a regular contender at the front of the field in the second half of the season and is likely to be in a strong position to capitalise on points should any misfortune strike the key contenders in the championship.

The strong Newcastle field includes two drivers on debut – with one of them sporting a well-known Touring Car Masters surname.

Jamie Tilley is the son of Brad Tilley and will join his father and uncle Cameron Tilley on the grid for the first time this week driving a 1964 Ford Mustang Coupe.

The trio hail from Sydney’s Northern suburbs so will likely consider the Newcastle Event a home track this weekend.

Also joining the grid for the first time will be highly regarded racer Jim Pollicina.

The Sydney-based V8 Touring Car series frontrunner has purchased the ex-Keith Kassulke HQ Monaro GTS 350 and will make his debut in the series this weekend.

Pollicina is fresh off the back of a strong fifth-place finish in this year’s Kumho V8 Touring Car series where he races an ex-Tasman Motorsport Holden VE Commodore.

The Touring Car Masters series will race twice at the inaugural Coates Hire Newcastle 500 with the standard Dometic Trophy Race not part of the event schedule this week.

Practice 1 will be held on Friday November 24 at 10:50am followed by the second practice session early on Saturday – at 8:10am.

Qualifying will be critical and will be staged on Saturday at 11:55am.

Both races will be held on Sunday – the first at 9:00am and the second at 11:55am.


No Sponsor Name Name Surname State Year Make Model Cap Colour
2 Shannons Insurance Jim Richards VIC 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint 5000cc White/Green
3 F3 Motor Auctions / Lucky’s Hotel Cameron  Mason NSW 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback 5000cc Red/White
4 Skye Sands Rusty French VIC 1970 Ford Mustang Fastback 5800cc Black
5 ACDelco Bruce Williams VIC 1974 Holden  Torana SL/R 5000 5000cc Blue
6 Multispares Racing Ryan Hansford QLD 1974 Holden  Torana SL/R 5000 5000cc Yellow/Blue
7 Wisely Motorsport Bob Wisely QLD 1974 Holden  Torana A9X 5000cc Yellow/White
9 Jesus Racing Andrew Fisher NSW 1971 Ford Falcon XY GT HO 5800cc Red
10 Sunliner RV Tony Hunter VIC 1975 Chevrolet Monza 2+2 6000cc Yellow
11 Halkin Developments / Driving Advantage Graham Crawford VIC 1974 Ford Falcon XA GT 5800cc White
16 Carne Grill / Precinct Bar Gavin Bullas VIC 1970 Ford Mustang Fastback 5800cc Black
17 WM Waste / Illusion Gas Log Fires Steve Johnson QLD 1969 Ford Mustang Fastback 5800cc Yellow/Green
18 Wilson Security / PAYCE John Bowe VIC 1974 Holden  Torana SL/R 5000 5047cc Red/White
19 Tincone Industrial Services Darren Beale QLD 1972 Holden  Monaro GTS Coupe 5800cc Orange
27 MOCOMM Motorsport Communications Jim Policina NSW 1972 Holden  Monaro GTS Coupe 5800cc Blue
28 Speedgas / Tilley Auto Garage Brad Tilley NSW 1971 Ford Falcon XY GT HO 5800cc Green/Black
29 Speedgas / Tilley Auto Garage Jamie  Tilley NSW 1964 Ford Mustang Coupe 5000cc Black/Green
35 Bigmate Racing Jason Gomersall QLD 1978 Holden  Torana A9X Hatchback 5000cc Red/White/Black
44 TIFS – Warehousing & Distribution Anthony Compton NSW 1971 Ford Falcon XY GT HO 5800cc White
46 THD Motorsport Leo Tobin VIC 1969 Ford Boss Mustang 5000cc Orange
60 Glennan Transport/ANGLOMOIL Lubricants Cameron Tilley NSW 1969 Valiant Pacer 4390cc Blue
65 Cannon Trailers Michael (Blu) Cannon QLD 1971 Ford  Falcon XY GT HO 5800cc Red
72 GFR Industries Geoff Fane QLD 1972 Chevrolet Camaro SS 5800cc Orange
74 Lyndways Builders Wayne Mercer VIC 1971 Ford Falcon XY GT HO 5800cc Light Blue
85 Whiteline Racing / King Springs Mark King QLD 1972 Holden  Monaro GTS Coupe 5800cc Silver/Orange
88 TIFS – Warehousing & Distribution Tony Karanfilovski NSW 1969 Ford Mustang Trans Am 5800cc Orange
95 Whiteline Racing / Fabre Australia Adam Bressington NSW 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS 5800cc Yellow
97 Johns Furniture Removals Allen Boughen QLD 1963 Mercury Comet 4736cc Black/Blue