CROWNBET DARWIN TRIPLE CROWN - BRIAN BOYD WRAP UP REPORT - TCM
- PAYCE Head Office, Sydney NSW.
Team PAYCE - The Touring Car Masters Round Returns to Hidden Valley for the Ninth Time Running.
Hidden Valley produces super exciting racing and podiums for Team PAYCE.
Team PAYCE drivers and teams welcomed the warmth after some cold sessions in the south and weren't disappointed when they arrived in the tropical Top End.
PAYCE's Managing Director, Brian Boyd said Darwin turned on some fine weather again for this year's event with the only concern being the changing conditions that affected grip level during qualifying.
JB's Results over the Years Speak for Themselves – Brian Boyd
PAYCE's Managing Director, Brian Boyd said Darwin has always been a happy hunting ground of John Bowe's for many years, ever since he won the first TCM round at the track in 2008.
"It doesn't seem to matter what car he drives there, he races to please his fans and the results over the years speak for themselves," Mr. Boyd said.
Hidden Valley has hosted the TCM category event now for nine years and JB has enjoyed poles and victory in several cars, including his beloved Mustang Sally in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
In 2015 JB competed in the recurrently built #18 Holden Torana SL/R 5000, finishing second in the round to Steve Johnson driving JB's Mustang this time around. Some would argue not a good decision on JB's part.
As the current champion of the TCM series, John rejoiced in a very fruitful and competitive season last year.
Competition this year is very close as new cars and drivers hit the track each round, resulting in six different winners in the nine races completed to date.
Close Competition in the 2016 Series of the TCM – Brian Boyd
Practice on Friday had Jason Gomersall in the two-door Holden Torana A9X hatchback lapping quickest, Glenn Seton in his Mustang in second position, then JB in fourth spot and 2015 round winner Steve Johnson in a Ford Falcon GTHO that is improving with every race start.
District driver, Darwin 's Eddie Abelica, was popular with the locals in his Ford Falcon XB Coupe when he posted fastest speed through the timing trap of 256 kmh in practice.
John's main competition at the Darwin event was intended to be Jason Gomersall, but other drivers had a different opinion on the day!
JB was not about to concede easily and in qualifying for the first race he posted a time good enough to give him another pole, edging out Jason Gomersall and Steve Johnson.
Steve Johnson got off the line perfectly in race 1, thundering into turn one in the lead position and never to be headed. John Bowe spent the entire race either trying passes on Johnson or fending off challenges from a persistent Seton.
JB was quick in the twisting sections of Hidden Valley but could not match Johnson for outright speed down the 1.1 kilometre straight. All but one of the TCM field completed the full race in the hot, tricky conditions, reflecting the hard work that had gone into the preparation and setup of the cars.
JB Happy to Work Hard – Brian Boyd
With the TCM series enjoying one of its best seasons ever with the number of quality cars and drivers now competing, it comes as no surprise that John, ever the racer, is happy to see his rivals, many of whom are long-standing friends, making him work harder on track.
"The fun racing and the fun camaraderie we are having nowadays reminds me of the touring car days I grew up in," JB said.
In race 2, John threw all he and the car had at Steve Johnson in an attempt to force him into error, but overcooked it on the 9th lap, finishing off the track and down a number of positions in the order.
He was able to fight his way back to an eventual 5th place as the chequered flag came down.
Reverse Grid a Great Crowd-Pleaser – Brian Boyd
The last TCM race of the Hidden Valley meeting was a reverse grid and more than lived up to its reputation as a great crowd-pleaser. The fastest cars ducked and weaved through the field, creating a mad spectacle for the fans.
The reverse grid is also an opportunity for some of the field to show what they can do when they have some clean air and less traffic around them.
Wayne Mercer led the field away in his Ford Falcon XY GTHO from pole and despite some challenges was able to hold on to the end to take home the Waeco Trophy.
JB looked to have the race in his grasp while charging hard, but pulled to the side on lap 4 after losing power. His consolation was to set the fastest time of the race.
JB finished the round in 4th position and still on top of the leaderboard with 617 points followed closely by his former team-mate, Steve Johnson.
As a Racer's Racer, JB is Revelling in the Competitiveness – Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd said Darwin produced another great round of close racing and the new blood had certainly injected fresh interest and competition into the series.
"JB has been the first to welcome the added competition and as a racer's racer, he is revelling in the competitiveness and really enjoying the mateship that this category is renowned for," commented Mr. Boyd.
"The little Torana with its 308 V8 is still the car to beat at most tracks and JB remains on the top of the leaderboard half-way through the season," enthused Brian Boyd after the event.
The next round of the Touring Car Masters is at Queensland Raceway in Ipswich on July 22-24 July 2016.
Go Team PAYCE!