• PAYCE Head Office, Sydney NSW.

Team PAYCE find Winton's new surface a Gripping Affair - Touring Car Masters Race Event Wrap-up.

Quiet different to the last round at Barbagello Raceway in Perth where the racers were struggling to find grip from the track, the newly re-surfaced track at Winton Raceway hurled fresh challenges.

Team drivers and engineers worked hard in the early practice sessions to fine tune set ups that maximised the high grip levels on soft tyres and the newly defined corners. Being a SuperSprint round, there was a 120 kilometre (40 laps) race on Saturday and a 200 kilometre (67 laps) race on Sunday.

The Touring Car Masters (TCM) had three 12 lap races to contend, being a championship race on Saturday and another on Sunday, followed by a non-championship reverse grid race to finish the meeting with a blast on the Sunday afternoon.

Overall, some Excellent Results – Brian Boyd

PAYCE Managing Director Brian Boyd said: "Overall, some excellent results for Team PAYCE over the weekend, with Scott McLaughlin well inside the top 10 in both Supercars qualifiers and a podium second place in race 1 and second on the leaderboard at day's end.

"These results were all the more welcome as the team reported they weren't entirely happy with the car's settings," Brian Boyd said.

"Another fantastic performance from John Bowe in the Touring Car Masters, bouncing back from a broken gearbox early on to take both championship races, set a new lap record and continue on top of the leaderboard."

Pirtek Enduro Cup Co-Drivers Anounced – Brian Boyd

Three Team PAYCE drivers in David Wall, James Golding and Macauley Jones have been confirmed as co-drivers in the upcoming Pirtek Enduro Cup series and they tested in the first of two special practice sessions to be held before the series kicks off.

Brian Boyd said each impressed in adapting to the cars and conditions, driving smoothly and finishing with very respectable times.

"I'm sure they are looking forward to their first race at Sandown in mid-September," said Mr. Brian Boyd

Touring Car Masters

Winton holds a swag of very special memories for PAYCE driver John Bowe. This includes winning the first TCM race at the Winton circuit in 2008 and, most recently, achieving a clean haul of the round just a year ago, when he established new lap records and won all three races at the meeting.

TCM Boys Getting their First Look at the Newly Surfaced Track – Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd said John had been looking forward to a great weekend of racing with new cars in the field to make the series even more exciting.

"Despite leading the series, JB was acutely aware there had been five different winners of the last five races, so Winton wasn't likely to be a cake-walk," Brian Boyd said.

"Added to that, the TCM boys were getting their first look at the newly surfaced track, so everyone had to re-think their game."

Fast Friday Practice

Friday's practice was fast, indicating that JB would have a real fight on his hands over the weekend. The new Holden Torana A9X of Jason Gomersall's set some impressive times in its debut appearance in the Touring Car Masters series.

Exceptional Effort by John's Crew to get the Torana Ready – Brian Boyd

A broken gearbox late in the day negated the good times set by JB in the final practice, seeing him down in an unaccustomed 18th spot. The crew were facing a long night to replace the faulty parts in time for Saturday's qualifying session. With an all-in gargantuan effort, the parts were rushed from Melbourne and by 11pm that night all repairs had been completed by a hard-working team.

Qualifying had Gomersall in the lead for much of the 20 minute session before John pulled out all stops to pip him and go to the top of the times, putting him on pole for the afternoon race.

Brian Boyd said the effort by John's crew to get the Torana ready for Saturday qualifier was exceptional.

"There's always a lot of pressure in these circumstances and a lot of relief when you get a good result when pushed for time, as they were," Brian Boyd said.

Race 1 and 2 Delivers Fast Racing - Brian Boyd

Race 1 promised to deliver close racing and fans weren't disappointed. JB got off the line well, but was hounded by Gomersall throughout the race. A safety car towards the end bro ght the field back together. Despite some strong driving by those behind, JB held off all competition and came home the winner of his 79th TCM race.

Race 2 on Sunday had the two Toranas facing off against each other on the front of the grid. The start was a neck and neck sprint to turn 1, with JB having to back off and give some racing room. Initial attempts to overtake on the outside proved difficult in getting the power down, so JB waited his time to attack, which came on lap 3 when he took the lead.

From there John was never seriously challenged for the lead and wrapped up a fairly comfortable win, crossing the line nearly seven seconds in front of the second placed car. The win netted him his 80th TCM win and winner of the round, as well as retaining the championship lead. Behind JB some spirited racing took place with standout performances by Glenn Seton.

Race 3 - Non Championship, Reverse Grid Race - JB still the Man to Beat - Brian Boyd

The non-championship Race 3 was the final race of the day and everyone was expecting even more action as the race for the WAECO Trophy was a reverse grid with the fastest starting at the rear. The race was a thriller with many moves and intense battles in all classes across the field.

From his 20th position on the grid, John kept the pressure on as he knifed through the field, but ultimately ran out of time and finished in 6th place.

Drivers will be out to Bump him off the Pedestal – Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd said it was another great meeting for JB, who showed the Torana SL/R 5000 is still the car to beat.

"No doubt a number of drivers will be out to bump him off the pedestal in the remaining five rounds of the championship," Brian Boyd said.

"One thing for sure, JB will not go down without a fight," finished Mr. Boyd.

The next round is at Darwin's Hidden Valley on 17-19 June.

Championship leaderboard

John Bowe1st
Go Team PAYCE!