SHANNONS FALCON SPRINT PERFORMS WELL AT SANDOWN TCM ROUND
18 SEPTEMBER 2017
Jim came away from the fifth round of the seven round Touring Car Masters championship happy with his results in the two completed races that were run.
This was the first meeting for the car with a revised rear leaf spring arrangement and in the single practice session Jim was very pleased to finish sixth just nine tenths of a second behind pace setter Steven Johnson in the Mustang.
“We were running old tyres but the car felt terrific and I was pleased to be that close to the front runners in what is the oldest car in the field”. said the two time TCM champion.
Unfortunately qualifying was wet and Jim found that he could not get any traction in the slippery conditions finishing back in tenth position.
“The car felt terrible and to be honest it was the best I could do in the conditions without taking too many risks”. said Jim.
In the trophy race, which featured a reverse grid for the rolling start, Jim elected to start from the back of the field to avoid the possibility of damage but managed to finish in 13th position having made up five places in a conservative drive.
Johnson won from Adam Garwood in the Torana and Cameron Mason in the Mustang.
The second race was declared a non event when Jason Gomersall crashed his two door Torana at the infamous turn six on the first lap which bought out the red flag.
In the final race, with Gomersall out for the day, Jim started from ninth and it was all going well until Tony Karanfilovski in the Mustang turned Garwood around coming onto the back straight causing Jim to prop and therefore losing touch with the lead bunch.
Jim was able to pass Mason, Geoff Fane in the Camaro and Terry Lawler in his Mustang to finish up sixth and again was very happy with the cars performance.
“To be honest that is probably where we should have realistically finished but it was just a pity that I lost contact with the front group when Garwood was spun”. said Jim.
Johnson won from John Bowe in the Torana and Ryan Hansford in his Torana but it was Bowe who took out the round win by one point from Johnson with Hansford third overall.
With two rounds to go Bowe leads the championship on 640 points from Adam Bressington in the Camaro on 627 and Johnson on 622.
For Jim it was a satisfying weekend and it should be remembered that the Falcon was built in 2009 to a different set of regulations to the current regs and there have been a raft of changes in that eight year period.
“I’m really proud of the car and the team that support me and it will be great to get to the mountain to race the car. This will be the 45th time I have raced at the circuit since the first time in 1974 when I finished third in the big race with Rod Coppins in a Torana”. said Jim.
At the weekend Jim also had other duties to perform with laps around the circuit on the Friday and Saturday in the six cylinder turbocharged Nissan Skyline HR31 that carried him to victory in the 1990 Australian Touring Car championship and was backed up together with the Nissan “Godzilla” R32 Nissan “I really enjoy running the Skyline and each time I drive the car it brings back some great memories”.
The next round of the TCM will be at Bathurst in three weeks time with the final round scheduled for the last weekend in November at the new street circuit in Newcastle.
Apart from major sponsor Shannons Jim also receives welcome support from Adrenalin and Leatherman Tools.
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