Borrowed engine ensures Hansford’s title defence remains on track
A BORROWED engine and a race against time will ensure that Ryan Hansford can kickstart his defence of the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters Series at AWC Race Tasmania this week.
The Multispares Racing Holden Torana driver clinched the 2022 title – his first – in the penultimate race of the season in Adelaide last year, however struck issues in the final race.
As Hansford chased leader Steven Johnson, a holed piston caused the engine to drop onto seven cylinders with the Queenslander quickly shutting the car off and retiring – safe in the knowledge the title was already his.
Though the engine was removed from the car by the following Wednesday and new pistons ordered immediately, shipping delays mean the new items are not yet in Australia.
As such, the team has leased the engine from their original SL/R 5000 Torana – purchased by team owner Rod Dawson in 2017 and now owned by Allen Hughes – to run in Tasmania.
However, that wasn’t the end of the story with the team finding metal fragments in the oil filter as they inspected the engine prior to installation last week.
This necessitated a rapid process to freshen the engine, the team working across the weekend to ensure it was completed in time.
The delays mean the bright yellow Torana won’t arrive into Tasmania until Friday morning this week, the team set for another race against time to make practice at Symmons Plains that morning.
“Our 2023 season really started on the Sunday afternoon in Adelaide after winning the championship,” Multispares Racing’s Brett Peters explained.
“Once we knew we had engine damage we went right into action, but the pistons still haven’t arrived from the states. It’s caused some stress!
“We had a plan B, a Plan C and a Plan D which was too risky, so we’ve gone to Plan E which was to lease an engine from our original car. It would fit and be the easiest and quickest change given similarities with plumbing.
“However when we got the engine, Rod (Dawson) decided to cut open the oil filter which was a smart decision, because it was clear it would have gone bang pretty quickly.
“So that put Plan F into place, which was the freshen-up of that engine with the guys working flat out all weekend.
“The engine went in the car Monday night, then we head to Melbourne (from their base in Queensland) to get the last boat Thursday night.”
The opening round of the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters Series will be tightly battled this weekend at the third running of AWC Race Tasmania this February 24-26.
Coverage of the opening round of the Shannons SpeedSeries will be broadcast live on both days on Stan Sport, with live and free-to-air coverage on the Nine Network on Saturday afternoon.
Tickets for the event remain on sale via motorsporttickets.com.au