August 17, 2023 | General

TCM field ready for The Bend debut

THE GULF WESTERN OIL Touring Car Masters series thunders into The Bend Motorsport Park and the OTR SuperSprint this weekend, marking their first ever visit to the South Aussie venue.

It’s a great time for TCM to make their debut at the circuit as the championship enters the second half of a season with plenty of storylines.

Series leader Steven Johnson has won the last five rounds in a row, a record for the series, and has a commanding lead in the championship heading into the second half of the year.

However, the level playing field that is the 4.9km circuit means that while Johnson running at the front is likely, it’s by no means assured.

The nature of The Bend’s fast and flowing layout means it’s hard to know whether it’s going to suit the more powerful but heavier Mustangs and Camaros, or the less grunty but lighter and more agile Torana’s best.

Chasing Johnson will be the regular pack, including John Bowe who is in the midst of his ‘Ciao for Now’ tour, hanging up the TCM helmet at the end of the year.

Cameron Tilley’s thundering Valiant Pacer will be fun to watch, as will Marcus Zukanovic’s XD Falcon, while Torana pilots Ryan Hansford and Andrew Fisher will be factors as ever.

And then there’s the local connection, headed up by Adelaide icons Whiteline Racing.

The team, based in the Northern suburbs, has drafted in a local champion in the form of Joel Heinrich add to their home ground advantage this weekend.

The Bend will be the 16th different venue to host TCM and, if previous visits to similar circuits are any indicator, it’s likely to be highly entertaining racing from the high powered, high speed but low grip muscle cars that make up the field.

As well as series regulars, several local competitors will run in the invitational class this weekend.

Chris Meulengraaf returns in his Porsche 911 IROC, as does Jason Palmer in his BMW E30.

Hagen Zerk will field his period-correct XA GT Falcon Coupe’ while Tasmanian Adam Williams will field his Torana.

The Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters field will tackle the regular four races across the weekend, commencing with the Trophy Race on Friday afternoon.

The three championship races will be broadcast live and ad-break free on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sport this weekend.

Read the official Program for The Bend at this link

2 Pro Am Garwood Racing Gerard McLeod VIC Holden VB Commodore 6000 White/Blue/Red
3 Pro Am Western General Body works Danny Buzadzic VIC Holden Torana A9X 6000 White
4 Pro Sport Northside Taxis Allan Hughes QLD Holden Torana 5000 White
6 Pro Master Multispares Racing Ryan Hansford QLD Holden Torana A9X 5000 Yellow/Blue
12 Pro Sport Depulu Wheel Reconditioners Gold Coast Peter Burnitt QLD Holden Torana A9X 5000 White
15 Pro Master Jesus Racing Andrew Fisher NSW Holden Torana A9X 5800 Red
18 Pro Master Rare Spares / Apex Steel / Mobil 1 John Bowe VIC Holden Torana SL/R 5000 5000 Black/White
30 Invitational Chris Meulengraaf Chris Meulengraaf SA Porsche IROC 3600 White
33 Pro Master Tyrepower NSW / Toronto Hotel Steven Johnson NSW Ford Mustang Trans Am 5800 Silver/Green
53 Pro Sport Pearcedale Plant Hire Dave Hender VIC Ford XY Falcon GT 5800 Blue
55 Pro Sport Bullet Trailers Racing John Adams VIC Ford Falcon XY GT 5800 White
60 Pro Am Anglomoil Superior Lubricants Cameron Tilley NSW Valiant Pacer 6000 Blue
62 Invitational Palmers Sales and Marketing Jason Palmer SA BMW E30 3250 White
70 Invitational Hagen Zerk Hagen Zerk SA Ford XA GT Coupe 5800 Black
71 Pro Master Action Motor Industries Marcus Zukanovic VIC Ford Falcon XD 5800 White/Blue
75 Invitational Williams Outdoor Adam Williams Tas Holden Torana 5000 White/Blue
77 Pro Sport SNB Berryman Racing Warren Trewin VIC Holden HQ Monaro 5810 Blue
85 Pro Am Daimler Trucks Adelaide/Ausblue/NTI Insurance Geoff Fane QLD Chevrolet Camaro SS 5800 Yellow
88 Pro Am TIFS Third Party Logistics Tony Karanfilovski NSW Ford Mustang Trans Am 5800 Orange
95 Pro Master Daimler Trucks Adelaide/Ausblue/NTI Insurance Joel Heinrich SA Chevrolet Camaro RS 5800 Yellow