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Nov 28, 2012


The Masters have put in another wild and interrupted nine laps, seeing Tilley take his second win of the season, while Collins has repeated unwanted series history becoming the second vehicle in in the series’ six years to roll on a race weekend, and both have happened in today’s races.

Starting with the top ten in reverse grid order, Youlden and Collins shared the front row, with King and Karanfilovski, Pye and Freestone bearing down ahead of the opening race lead pack buried in the field. Pye and Crick were off the line, but it was O’Brien and Bowe making their way through from the onset, with Karanfilovski taking a great launch to keep strong at the head. For King, the race ended on the starting straight, a broken front universal bolt on the tail shaft sending the Camaro to stop at the inside wall.

Kassulke was keen to regain the positions lost in the first race, while Bowe took a detour, going off through turns seven, eight and nine, dropping back into the pack after moving ahead. Karanfilovski had his Falcon in the lead with smoke from the rear left but it wouldn’t stop him yet. On the front straight, the weekend of woes continued for Edwards, his Torana spluttering on the home straight, but on he drove, only for a loose wire to stop the #50 on the run onto the back straight.

Keene and Almond had their Porsches side by side, Keene taking the position as they continued towards lap three. Freestone was putting maximum pressure on the #88 GTHO, Collins and Tilley, Bowe and Youlden, Pye and Crick, the challenges continued. For Sparks, it was a tough run at the rear of the field after many promising efforts this season, but at the other end of luck, Freestone had big oversteer but held and had taken the lead under brakes at the top of Dandenong Road.

In the ongoing action of the final round, heartbreak was again on the cards as Karanfilovski spun at the final turn, the field splitting to avoid, but for Richards it was a matter of sight unseen, left with nowhere to go, the Javelin slammed into the stranded Falcon leaving big damage on both entries as the field made their way around the heart-breaking scene, Richards saying,

“I didn’t see anything. I was shielded behind all the cars between me and the cars in front so I just didn’t see Tony (Karanfilovski) until the cars in front of me moved over and then it was too late.

“We’ve done a quick assessment and the car is heavily damaged, but you can repair these things even if it will be a long time before the Javelin sees the track again.

“We’ll take it apart slowly to disassembled and review the damage, then we will think about it all and go from there, it’s just that the worst thing is a damaged car, but a lot worse things have happened in the world.”

With the safety car on track to control the field, Bowe, Youlden and Pye were no doubt settling back into a calm after all narrowly missing the Karanfilovski entry. The lights went out and it would be a rolling restart with Tilley all over the Freestone Camaro, moving to the outside and using the power of the mighty Falcon to take the lead on the run to the back straight. Mason used his Shelby’s strength to make the pass on Almond, Bowe finding the gap to take Freestone for second and get all over the rear of Tilley. Crick had charged around Youlden’s HQ, while Mercer and Keene, Benson and Almond went side by side along the front straight.

Youlden was off at turn seven, Pye moved to the outside of Collins on the next run into turn one, while Stillwell wanted another consistent result, having a look under Makarios before hunting down O’Brien, the leading Pro-Sportsman entry. As Freestone’s gearbox failed, he held control of the #25 through Dandenong Road, but the oil slick was all over the circuit, catching out Crick who spun off the tarmac, then seconds later, Collins was out of control, his stunning XA Falcon tagging the wall and rolling.

As the red flag was called, another race would end early but after a hard fought battle out the front, and keeping it clean, Tilley brought home the mighty Falcon to take the race win, saying,

“That was crazy! There was so much going on right from the start and it was great, and maybe lucky to have got through to the front and go racing.

“It feels like I can sit back and let them (the field) do their thing, get out of the way and who knows what else might come to us.

“The car is feeling good after a few adjustments and it was a lot better just now so I’ll do a bit more before the final race and let’s wait and see.”

Right to the end, the challenges continue with the Pro-Sportsman entries taking it all the way, coming home in the heart of the race action, Mason first home for the class race win, O’Brien putting in another great effort, with Stillwell holding strong, Keene, Mercer and Benson taking the pressure all the way to the final moments. The final race of an unforgettable season will hit the track from 1535, and it’s going to be huge so get onto to not miss a moment of the live action!

The Touring Car Masters is proudly supported by Shannons Insurance, Rare Spares, Unique Cars Magazine and the 2012 Australian Muscle Car Masters, with official suppliers Hoosier Tires and Australian Sports Marketing.