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Nov 13, 2012

It all comes down to this, Class titles on the line

Season 2013 has proven to be an epic year for the Touring Car Masters with loads of classic racing action, new cars and stars, circuit debut challenges, and both Class A and B now come down to the Sandown Raceway finale with the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships, just two weeks away.

Let’s take a look at the statistics from the sixth year of Australia’s favourite muscle cars…

  • 7 rounds, 5 states
  • 21 races
  • 203 laps
  • 764 kilometres of racing
  • 6 Class A, 7 Class B race winners
  • 4 Class A, 5 Class B round winners
  • 6 lap records (Bathurst lap record not broken, remaining held by Jason Richards, 2:22.6622, 2011)
  • 3 Class A (Bowe), 2 Class B (Stillwell, Benson) race win clean sweeps
  • 133 points separates 1st (Bowe) and 2nd (Richards) in Class A, 159 points separates 1st (Stillwell) and 2nd (Benson) in Class B

With just 36 laps and 111 kilometres of racing remaining, the field of 30 will be out for final glory as both Class titles go down to the wire, Bowe looking to continue his season dominance and take his second series title to go back-to-back, all the while keeping one eye on the Javelin of fellow series champion, Richards, the lone name to share the possibility of the ultimate success.

In Class B it’s been a year-long challenge as Stillwell, Benson, Hunter, Mason and Sparks have shared the Class round wins, but it has been the consistency of strong performance that has Stillwell in the hot seat for his first Class title, while you can never count out the commitment of Benson, the only remaining challenger for the Class honours.

For those not in the title hunt, don’t count out the likelihood of epic racing action, put in their words,

“The Shelby is having a rear end makeover with the whole differential and rear spring setup pulled out to be straightened and softened taking away the nerves we felt on Conrod, hopefully giving a bit more traction off the corners so that we can have a really good go at Sandown, all the development being part of seeing the ‘66 Shelby a faster race package so that we can be genuine contenders next year.” explained Mason.

Rising star of the series, Kassulke is certainly committed to greater development of both car and driver, saying,

“Since Bathurst, the XB had a good workout at Winton at a private day which was good both for me and the car, but we managed to wear out the brakes and to a certain extent, me! We’ve done a bit of work on the set up, but overall, I‘m ready to go to Sandown and get another good result.”

Keeping the Porsches in the fight with the muscle cars this season has been young-gun Michael Almond, Greg Keene and 2011 Class A champion, Amanda Sparks, with the husband and wife duo continuing their family battle on the track this season, taking some time out before the finale, with Keene saying,

“Amanda and I have just returned from Abu Dhabi to watch the big boys of the Formula One and V8 Supercars doing it. We’re pumped having lucked in to sit where all the action occurred, while we also had time to visit the mosque where I tried to teach Amanda the Muslim tradition of staying behind her husband, so watch out for her at Sandown!”

It’ll be a finish to watch closely as every competitor drops their lowest points round at the completion of the final race, so to see just who takes home the silverware of the 2012 Touring Car Masters season, get along to Sandown Raceway as the finale of the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships roars into action, 23 – 25 November.