In late March the ENZED Touring Car Masters ventured down to the Apple Isle, to battle it out at Symmons Plains raceway for Round 2 of the series. It was the first time the series has ventured to Tasmania since 2010 and the local crowd was pumped to see the high horsepower classic machinery race around the fun little circuit.
With previous champion John Bowe sidelined for the round due to surgery on his hand, the task of piloting JB’s Mustang was given to none other than Steven Johnson.
All eyes were on Junior Johnson as he got himself comfortable during the wet practice sessions but it was apparent from early on that Johnson felt at home in the big V8 Ford.
During qualifying, Junior showed what a master he is, driving to Pole position with Gavin Bullas second in the Ford Boss Mustang and Greg Crick in his Chrysler Charger E55 third.
A regular name missing from one of the top places in qualifying was Jim Richards who had battled throttle issues throughout the session a, having to start from the rear of the grid for the first of the three races.
Starting from pole in both the morning and afternoon races on Saturday, Johnson broke free of the chasing pack on both occasions, despite an early scare with Gavin Bullas nearly taking out both drivers on cold brakes into turn three on the first lap of the morning race.
Bullas held station and challenged when he could during the first race, finishing second, however in Race 2 Bullas suffered mechanical issues and was forced to pit giving Greg Crick the opportunity to take the chequered flag in second.
Crick wasn’t without his own issues, having spun in the morning race, with Eddie Abelnica capitalising and sealing two thirds for his consistency.
Sunday’s race saw Johnson continue to shine, starting from pole once more. Johnson led from start to finish, despite Greg Crick fighting hard and denied victory by just three tenths of a second in front of his home crowd.
Cameron Tilley raced hard in his Valiant Pacer and slotted into the final podium place behind Crick.
Jim Richards had clawed his way back through each race in the AMC Javelin and managed to finish fourth at the end of Race 3.
After two rounds of the 2015 series, it is the consistent Eddie Abelnica who is leading the ProMaster category, Cameron Tilley first in ProAm and in ProSports, Tony Hunter is currently taking the honours.
The next round of ENZED Touring Car Masters is at Winton Motor Raceway, in country Victoria. The event will take place May 15-17. Winton is a familiar hunting ground for many of the TCM drivers, so baton down those hatches, as we are in for some great racing.