May 8, 2018 | General


THE Paynter Dixon Touring Car Masters grid is about to get a lot bigger.

Auto Action magazine last week revealed an influx of new car and driver combinations to the series will push the grid back towards the 30-car mark when the series resumes at Winton later this month.

At least six new car and driver combinations are expected to debut at the rural Victorian circuit while a host of returning cars and drivers will also bolster the field.

While the Marcus Zukanovic remains on track to make the highly anticipated debut of his XD Falcon at the May event several other freshly constructed or rebuilt cars are also on track to race for the first time.

Ian Woodward will debut his Fataz Competition Engines Camaro SS at Winton stepping up from the Queensland-based TransAm category.

The Fataz team had originally planned to enter the series last year however existing racing and business commitments saw that pushed back to 2018. Woodward plans to contest the remaining six rounds of the series with testing planned prior to their Winton debut.

From the blue oval brigade former Super2 regular Aaron McGill has entered his new Ford Falcon GTHO – a car formerly owned by noted Historic racer Doug Westwood and raced by Glenn Seton.

Seton qualified the car on pole at Bathurst in 2013 however it was badly damaged in a high-speed crash on Conrod straight during the opening race of the weekend.

The car was purchased by McGill last year and has undergone a complete rebuild including sourcing the same engine that powered John Bowe to the 2013 and 2014 TCM titles in his Ford Mustang.

Built by Melbourne-based Synergy Race Engines the 5.8-litre Ford V8 was also used by Steven Johnson and Neil Crompton in 2015 and successfully clocked nearly 7000 racing kilometres before being rebuilt for McGill’s Falcon.

Noted Victorian Historic Touring Car racers Brett and Rod Hotchkin will join the grid in a pair of Falcon GTHOs while Rob Burns is also set to debut his Monaro GTS built by Bendigo Retro Muscle Cars – the crew behind John Bowe’s all-conquering Torana.

Returning names are also likely to feature at Winton: After sitting out the Tasmanian event AA publisher Bruce Williams (Torana) Graham Alexander (Camaro) Blu Cannon (Falcon GTHO) and Tony Karanfilovski (Mustang) are all set to return.  

The popular Mercury Comet of Queenslander Allan Boughen is also reading for a comeback after blowing an engine in Adelaide during the opening round of the year.

The pair of IROC Challenge-specification Porsche 911s of Victorian teammates Rory O’Neill and Sven Burchartz will also race at what is traditionally a track that suits the nimble German sports cars.