November 20, 2023 | General

TCM title battle to pit Johnson against Hansford in Adelaide

A MUSCLE CAR title bout as if from the history books awaits when the Gulf Western Oils Touring Car Masters Series heads for a championship showdown at the VAILO Adelaide 500 this week. 

Two famous surnames, owned by the sons of two Aussie motorsport legends, will battle for the title and they’ll do it with one in a Holden and one in a Ford.

It will be the key storyline among many as a strong 27-car field line up on the Adelaide streets this weekend.

Three-time TCM champion Steven Johnson will look to add a fourth title aboard his 1969 Ford Mustang Trans Am, while Ryan Hansford will aim to stop him and go back-to-back aboard his Holden Torana A9X.

The pair are split by just 75 points with 200 up for grabs across three championship races and the inverted grid Trophy Race this week in Adelaide.

Johnson was in conservative mode at Bathurst recently, while Hansford nibbled away at the Mustang drivers’ championship lead with a series of strong performances.

The pair shared the front row in Adelaide twelve months ago and while Johnson swept the weekend’s championship races, Hansford did enough to seal his maiden TCM title on the Adelaide streets.

Meanwhile, a titanic scrap for third in the championship is set to unfold this weekend with Marcus Zukanovic (Ford Falcon), Cameron Tilley (Valiant Pacer), Andrew Fisher (Holden Torana) and the legendary John Bowe all split by just 28 points in third, fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Zukanovic is coming off a career weekend in TCM at Mount Panorama, while Tilley’s strong recent form also saw him leap Fisher in the standings heading into the finale’.

Bowe, meanwhile, will be looking to cap off his year-long ‘ciao for now’ tour as he enters his final Touring Car Masters weekend as a full-time driver in the category.

The key title protagonists may find them looking at the Chevrolet Camaro tail-lights of the local squad Whiteline Racing, who will return with their two-car team this weekend.

South Australian Aussie Racing Cars champion Joel Heinrich will once again drive the team’s #95 entry having swept the round at The Bend Motorsport Park in August, while Geoff Fane will drive the sister car.

The Adelaide team have a strong track record of success at their home venue and will look to add to that this weekend off the back of Heinrich’s form at the permanent circuit three months ago.

The superb Adelaide grid is bolstered by several invitational category drivers from Adelaide, plus the six cars visiting Australia from the Touring Car Masters New Zealand Series.

The TCM grid will be the first cars on track at this year’s VAILO Adelaide 500 with their practice session set for 8:00am on Thursday morning, to be followed by Qualifying later that morning.

That will be followed on Friday by the Trophy Race at 9:25am and the first championship race of the weekend at 4:15pm.

Race 2 (11:30am Saturday) and Race 3 (11:25am Sunday) then complete the weekend, with coverage across Friday, Saturday and Sunday on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports.

ENTRY LIST – Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters Series

2 Pro Am Garwood Racing Adam Garwood 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
7 Pro Am MoCOMM Motorsport Comms Jim Pollicina NSW Holden Torana A9X 5000 White/Black/Red
09 Pro Master Jesus Racing Andrew Fisher NSW Holden Torana A9X 5800 Red
12 Pro Sport Depulu Wheel Reconditioners Gold Coast Peter Burnitt QLD Holden Torana A9X 5000 White
17 Invitational Aus Dennis Transport Hagen Zerk SA Ford XA GT Coupe 5800 Black
18 Pro Master Rare Spares /PAYNTER DIXON John Bowe VIC Holden Torana SL/R 5000 5000 Black/White
30 Invitational Aus Team Quartz Motorsport Chris Meulengraaf SA Porsche IROC 3600 White
33 Pro Master Hancock Racing Steven Johnson NSW Ford Mustang Trans Am 5800 Silver/Green
55 Pro Sport Bullet Trailers Racing Team John Adams VIC Ford Falcon XY GT 5800 White
60 Pro Am Anglomoil Superior Lubricants Cameron Tilley NSW Valiant Pacer 6000 Blue
62 Invitational Aus Palmers Sales and Marketing Jason Palmer SA BMW E30 3250
70 Invitational Aus High Performance Motorsport Ian Price NSW Ford Escort Mk II 2000 White /Blue
71 Pro Master Action Motor Industries Marcus Zukanovic VIC Ford Falcon XD 5800 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
99 Pro Am RedAss Burrito / Bespoke Financial Advisory Ben Dunn NSW Chevrolet Monza 6000 White
104 Invitational NZ Life Sciences NZ Colin Meadows NZ Chevrolet Camaro White
110 Invitational NZ NZTCM Sean McCaughan NZ Ford Falcon XY GTHO 5800 White
117 Invitational NZ NZTCM Greg Cuttance NZ Ford Falcon XE 6555 Blue
133 Invitational NZ NZTCM Dennis Lovegrove NZ Pontiac Firebird 7000
143 Invitational NZ Fluidex Transport / Engine Dynamics Tony Galbraith NZ Valiant Charger 6000 Orange
184 Invitational NZ Hamilton Asphalts Lance Hughes NZ Holden Torana SLR5000 6700 Red