25 January 2021 | General

Garwood beats Bowe to take TCM season opener

Adam Garwood has edged out John Bowe in a thrilling finish to the first championship race of the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters season.

In an all-Tasmanian battle, Garwood took advantage of a mid-race Safety Car to peg Bowe’s early leading margin, edging his way past the Torana to record his fourth TCM race victory of his career.

CLICK HERE for race results.

Bowe had led the race from pole but the Safety Car – sent out to recover a stranded Jim Pollicina – erased his two-second gap in front.

The Paynter Dixon Torana was unable to fend off Garwood’s Whiteline Racing Camaro RS on the restart, but refused to cede ground in the run to the flag.

After Garwood edged out a one-second margin, Bowe closed on the final lap and ultimately fell short of his 100th TCM race win by just four-tenths of a second.

Garwood, who started third, was ecstatic to record his first win for the successful Whiteline team in front of his local fans, friends and family.

“I’m stoked, Garwood said. “I had a rough start to the weekend but made it up to the team with the win.”

Ryan Hansford followed the leaders home in third place to claim an early haul of championship points in his Muiltispares Torana. He was followed home by Steven Johnson and the Tru Blue Mk II XD Falcon, the three-time and reigning champion enjoying a consistent race as he continues to develop the still-new machine.

Cameron Tilley celebrated his 200th TCM race with a solid fifth-placed finish in his Valliant Pacer and was followed home by Marcus Zukanovic – who had earlier won the TCM Trophy Race.

Tony Karanfilovski, Paul Freestone, Gerard McLeod and Peter Burnett completed the top-10.

Earlier in the day, Marcus Zukanovic led home Gerard McLeod to win the TCM Trophy Race.

It was not only the Victorian’s first ever TCM race win, but the first for the XD Falcon since the model joined the championship in 2018.

Zukanovic beat home old teammate and co-driver McLeod, who gave his still brand-new VB Commodore its first ever podium finish.

Ryan Hansford charged from the back to finish third in the reverse-grid affair.

The only drama of the race came when Greg Garwood and Mark King clashed at turn six, the Capri tipping the Camaro into a spin with both failing to finish the race, and the former ruled out for the weekend due to the damage.

The two remaining races in the opening round of the Gulf Western Oils Touring Car Masters series will be contested tomorrow at Symmons Plains Raceway, at 12:23pm and 14:10pm respectively.

Both races will be broadcast live on the screens of Seven, Sky Sports NZ and Motorsport.TV.