JIM SCORES FIRST RACE WIN IN THE 2016 TCM SERIES.
5 APRIL 2016
The second round of the Touring Car Masters series for 2016 proved to be very successful for Jim and the Shannons Javelin with a win in race one and a new lap record as well as finishing second overall for the round.
Round two was run at the Shannons Nationals meeting at Sandown and in the first two of three practice sessions Jim finished third and elected not to go out for the third session as he felt the car was on the pace.
Qualifying was held in wet conditions and while other drivers elected to come into the pits and change tyre pressures as the session progressed Jim stayed with what he had and settled for third on the grid behind Greg Ritter in the Monza and John Bowe in the Torana.
In the ten lap race one early leader Ritter was out on lap two with a major engine failure and it was left to Jim and Bowe to fight for the win with Jim going on to win by just two tenths of a second after a great battle.
“I was able to draw away a little on the straights and then John would make up ground under brakes and in the corners but there was nothing in it”. said Jim.
“The fact that we got a new lap record as well really was the icing on the cake and I couldn’t have been happier with the car”. said the seven time Bathurst winner.
In the second race Bowe went into the lead with Jim close behind but as the race progressed the Javelin started to lose traction out of the corners and Jim was relegated to third by Steven Johnson in Tony Karanfilovski’s GT Falcon.
The third race had a reverse grid based on accumulated points from the two races so Jim and Bowe started from the back row of what was designated as the Trophy race. With all drivers receiving equal points there was really no point in pushing hard so with plenty of fighting going on ahead Jim settled for 14th to ensure he finished the weekend without any damage.
Bowe finished the weekend on 166 points from Jim on 162 and Johnson on 158 and Bowe continues to lead the series with 324 points from Johnson on 292 and Eddie Abelnica on 288.
After being forced out of race two in the opening round in Adelaide with a mechanical issue and not being able to start in race three Jim is back in seventh place on 210 points.
The next round of the series will be at Winton on May 20-22 and there is a possibility that Jim may run the popular Falcon Sprint instead of the Javelin.
Coming up next week is the 25th edition of Targa Tasmania with a record 340 cars lining up on Monday which includes 270 in the competition as well as 60 Porsches and 10 BMWs in the tour section.
Jim and long time navigator Barry Oliver will be lining up for their 24th time in the event having missed the first one in 1992 and it will also be the 72nd tarmac rally they have participated in together since 1993.
The Shannons Porsche Cayman GT4 will have some tough competition in the GT2 class for two wheel drive showroom cars with the Porsche GT3 of Targa High Country winners Matt Close and Cameron Reeves as the combination to beat.
Five time winners Jason and John White have entered a new Dodge Viper ACR Extreme while Craig Dean and Alex Gelsomino will run the supercharged Ford Mustang that finished third in Targa High Country.
There are a number of others who could do well and with 38 stages over six days and 560 competitive kilometres to complete reliability will be crucial.
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