February 12, 2018 | General


NEW FACES will add even more competition to the Touring Car Masters field when the series resumes at the 20th anniversary Adelaide 500 this March.

While reigning ProMasters champion Steven Johnson (Ford Mustang) and multiple champ John Bowe (Holden Torana) both return several new names will hope to challenge the series’ elite when the category for retro muscle cars returns to the streets of Adelaide for the twelfth straight year.

Amongst the new contenders will be former V8 Ute racer Ben Dunn who takes over the ex-Tony Hunter Chevrolet Monza as he makes his TCM debut.

The New South Wales driver has more than 100 V8 Ute starts to his credit and will join an ever-growing list of drivers with success in that category to try TCM – including the likes of Jason Gomersall and Adam Bressington.

In the hands of former Supercars racer Greg Ritter the Monza was a TCM race winner and the unique Chevrolet coupe’ will be a welcome addition back in the TCM field this year.

Another expected to compete towards the pointy-end of the field will be experienced Sydney racer Jim Pollicina.

The experienced Production Car and V8 Touring Cars series’ regular purchased the ex-Adam Garwood Holden Torana A9X from Tasmania late last year and has already had his first laps behind the wheel of the proven winner at Mount Panorama in a Bathurst 12 Hour support race last week.

Pollicina made his TCM debut last November at the Newcastle 500 driving the ex-Keith Kassulke HQ Monaro that he also owns.

While Pollicina will race the Torana in Adelaide the MOCOMM Motorsport Communications team has also entered the Monaro – with a driver yet to be named.

TCM’s Queensland contingent will also get a boost this year with several new names set to join the fun from the Sunshine state.

Utes winner Cameron Wilson was announced to be joining the championship late last year and will race a 1970 Ford Mustang coupe for the first time at Adelaide this March.

The Slideways Go-Karting driver has plenty of experience in high-powered muscle cars however with success in Queensland-based Trans Am competition alongside his time in Ute racing.

Meanwhile former open-wheel racer Rob Hackwood will also make his TCM debut in a Mustang though an earlier 1965-specification model entered by Ron Prefontaine.

Meanwhile in Melbourne work continues at the Action Racing headquarters on Marcus Zukanovic brand-new XD Ford Falcon.

While the car may not yet be ready in time for the season opener the team has plans to contest the event regardless with the Phil Morris-owned XA Falcon likely to be pressed into service should the later-model Ford not be ready.

While new faces will be an obvious highlight of the Adelaide field returning names will also add depth to the season-opening field.

Adelaidian Greg Keen will contest the series in his IROC Challenge-specification Porsche 911 RS a car always well suited to the 3.2km Adelaide Parklands circuit.

Former TCM regular Phil Showers will also make a return in his ever-popular Ford Escort RS 1600.

After making his TCM debut on the streets of Newcastle last year Jamie Tilley – the son of TCM hero Brad – will return to the championship in Adelaide aboard the wheel of the team’s 1964 Ford Mustang.

They Tilley family have provided some of the most popular cars on the TCM grid with Brad Tilley and his popular Falcon GTHO and brother Cameron’s Valliant Pacer both Adelaide starters.

The full 2018 Touring Car Masters season-opening field for the Adelaide 500 will be announced in the coming weeks.

A busy schedule for the opening round has also been released.

The category will tackle practice (11:00am) qualifying (1:20pm) and the first race of the year (5:05pm) on Thursday 1 March.

Race 2 will be held on Friday 2 March at 11:15am and the third at 12:45pm on Sunday.

The fourth and final race will be held at 12:30 on Sunday not long before the second leg of the Adelaide 500 Supercars enduro.