August 9, 2023 | General


TWO ICONIC South Australian racing families will unite when the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters series makes its debut at The Bend Motorsport Park’s OTR SuperSprint next week.

The Middleton and Heinrich families – two staples of the South Aussie Racing scene – will join forces when Joel Heinrich jumps aboard a Whiteline Racing Chevrolet Camaro for the first ever TCM round at the circuit.

A former Aussie Racing Cars Series champion and Super3 racer, Heinrich will step into TCM for the first-time at The Bend to race on his home turf and against some of the legends of Australian Motorsport.

It’s a step up for the young South Aussie ace who comes from a well-known racing family – his dad, Bruce, is a legend in HQ Holden and Saloon Car competition among other key racing categories.

Bruce Heinrich won five national saloon car titles in his remarkable career and continues an involvement in the sport to this day.

Joel’s addition to the TCM field links their family with the Middleton’s, who through Whiteline Racing have been competing at the highest levels of Australian motorsport for decades – including wins in NASCAR, Super Truck racing and for more than a decade in Touring Car Masters.

The team and new driver completed a test day at The Bend recently to acclimatize Heinrich to the car, and the car to the fast and flowing 4.9km circuit.

While it will be the first time that TCM has raced as a category at The Bend, it won’t be the first time the Whiteline Racing team has competed there.

The squad took place in The Bend Classic event in late 2020, running both a Chevrolet Camaro TCM car and a Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR in the against-the-clock event.

The Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters field will enjoy its usual four-race schedule at The Bend, with practice and qualifying to be followed by the Trophy Race on Friday, August 18.

The first two championship races will be held on Saturday, August 19 with the finale’ set for Sunday morning.

Friday and Saturday action will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports next week.


“I’ve had a couple of test days and it’s been really good – a bit of an eye opener!

“The TCM car is very different to what I’m used to but I’m really excited to make some progress for the team and add to my own experience and learn a bit.

“The car is fun to drive: It’s an overpowered saloon car – Lots of grunt, lots of straight line and no aero so through the high speed stuff you’re hanging on.

“It’s going to be cool to join the series and compete against a couple of guys who have been racing since before I was born, and who I grew up watching in Supercars. They’ve all got their stuff sorted and are really fast.

“The deal came together through a mutual friend of ours and the Middleton’s and an old sponsor of Dad’s, Glen Jobling. He and one of my current supporters, CI international, put the deal together with Bob and his team and I jumped at it.

“I can’t wait to get on track at The Bend and have a go.”