TCM to enjoy season opener in Sydney

With the first event for the year closing in, another Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships regular category will get its 2022 season underway this weekend.

Part of a bumper schedule for the Repo Supercars Championship season opener at Sydney Motorsport Park, the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters will start its own year with a bang.

Just like its format at Shannons rounds, the category will have four races over the course of the weekend – starting with the trophy race and three official races.

Locked in for the season opener are 19 entries and reigning champion John Bowe headlines the field.

Behind the wheel of his Holden Torana SL/R 5000, the Australian great will be looking to start his year on a high and add another couple of victories to his incredible tally of more than 100.

There were plenty of the series regulars hoping to prevent Bowe from having that good start to the season, including multiple champion winner Steven Johnson, Cameron Tilley, Marcus Zukanovic, Jim Pollicina and last year’s runner-up, Ryan Hansford.

Hansford has enjoyed plenty of minor success in the series as of late – most notably at last year’s round at Sydney Motorsport Park as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships where he won two of the three races.

With the series originally scheduling the start of its season at Newcastle before the round was postponed, Hansford was thrilled to return to a track he knew well.

“I had my best round in Sydney last year, the car works well, and I love driving there, so I’m pleased to be starting the season back at SMP after Newcastle was postponed,” Hansford told TCM in the lead up to the round.

“I was really looking forward to racing at Newcastle again, especially in this Torana as the old car was fast around the streets, but this car is so much better developed.”

While the series won’t be part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships first round of the year at Philip Island later this month, it will link up with Shannons for its return to Eastern Creek in May.

Click here for more information on the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships’ Phillip Island event.

The Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters begins with practice and qualifying on Friday, before running the trophy race on Saturday morning. The first official takes place on Saturday afternoon with the remaining two to occur on Sunday.

Photo: Jack Martin Photography.