28 January 2021 | General

John Bowe leads TCM standings following season opener

For the sixth time in his Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters career, John Bowe leads the series standings following the opening round of a new season.

The Tasmanian legend, who notched up his remarkable 100th TCM race victory on Tuesday afternoon, leads the outright and ProMasters class championship on a countback by virtue of winning the final race of the weekend.

CLICK HERE for the full championship standings following round one. 

The declaration of Race two before 75% of the distance could be completed ensured just two series races were contested in Tasmania: the pair evenly split by Bowe and Whiteline Racing young-gun Adam Garwood.

Though each driver recorded a win and a second, Bowe leads on account of finishing higher in the last race of the weekend.

Bowe has won the TCM title each time he has led the standings following the opening round, an ominous sign for his title rivals.

However, Garwood’s win in race one also corresponded with the first time that he has topped the TCM leaderboard at an outright level.

The pair proved evenly matched at the weekend with a battle between the master and the apprentice in store as the series continues.

It’s also the second time in two consecutive seasons that a Whiteline driver has won the first series race of the year: Adam Bressington triumphing in the 2020 season opener before the year was shut down.

Consistency has Steve Johnson third in the standings, though the Queenslander was ironically aided by his own misfortune that saw the second race red flagged when his right-front wheel departed from his Tru-Blu Mk.II XD Falcon.

With the race not counted and Johnson able to repair the car in time for the finale’, a solid third-place finish allowed Johnson to grab the final step on the outright podium.

It’s the second straight round the still brand-new car has grabbed a trophy: the car third on debut at the Adelaide 500 event that was the only race contested in the abbreviated 2020 season.

A superbly consistent weekend saw Cameron Tilley seal the ProAm class honours at Symmons Plains; the Sydneysider also holding fifth outright in the standings as well.

Much like Bowe and Garwood, Tilley’s ProAm class win came in a countback with the Multispares Torana of Ryan Hansford; the pair locked on points after the two races.

Tilley also received a set of four brand-new Hoosier Tyres from the official series’ tyre supplier for his efforts.

Third in ProAm was Gerard McLeod, who posted a promising series of performances aboard his Motorsport Parts Australia VB Commodore.

Having finished second in the TCM Trophy Race behind old teammate Marcus Zukanovic, McLeod survived damage in the red-flagged second race to grab a ProAm podium for the weekend.

He sits seventh in the outright standings, ironically just behind Zukanovic (who is entered in the ProMasters category) in sixth.

Peter Burnitt was unopposed in the ProSports category, while Greg Garwood scored in the Invitational category.