CROWNBET DARWIN TRIPLE CROWN - BRIAN BOYD WRAP UP REPORT - TCM 2018
- PAYCE Head Office, Sydney NSW.
Team PAYCE - The Touring Car Masters Round Returns to Hidden Valley for the 2018 CrownBet Triple Crown Event.
Hidden Valley delivers another exciting round of racing for Team PAYCE.
PAYNTER DIXON Touring Car Masters – JB and Steve Johnson Continue to Duel – Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd said this round was expected to be a continuation of the duel between Team PAYCE member, John Bowe and his arch rival Steve Johnson, along with strong challenges from other front runners.
"Both cars were quick to log fast times in the only practice session of the round, with Johnson marginally faster and then repeating the effort in qualifying that locked both cars into the front row of the grid for race two," Brian said.
"JB left his run till late in the qualifying session after a red flag reduced the already short session and for a while it looked like he may have run out of time.
"Their top times also meant they went to the rear for the reverse grid Dometic Trophy race in the first of the four-race format that is now firmly established for the season."
Brian Boyd said the Trophy race is always a thriller for the fans and usually quite a heart-stopper for the rear markers coming through the field.
"As JB and Johnson got away, it was JB who made the best moves as he threaded past car after car, but a 5th placing was best he could manage by race end," Brian continued.
"Mark King in his Chev Camaro came out the winner in a race that had four different leaders over the 10 laps."
Incident Ruins Race 2 for JB – Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd said race two was shaping up to be another great duel between JB and Johnson, only to see that evaporate when JB was turned around in the opening lap as the field barrelled into turn one.
"That resulted in a multi-car incident that left a number of cars the worst for wear, including the front and rear of JB's Torana.
"Johnson made the most of clear air and was never seriously challenged through the race. JB recovered to come back past most of the field to finish 7th.
"Race three was a case of follow the leader. Johnson led with JB in full flight as he closed the gap towards the end but could not quite catch the Mustang and had to settle for 3rd," Brian Boyd recalled.
"Race four was again a great battle for the first corner between JB and Johnson and this time JB bravely committed to an outside line and grabbed the lead which he held for the full ten laps."
Brian said it was a great result for JB given his earlier incident that left the Torana battle-scarred.
"His eight second gap to Johnson at the end showed the #18 car is still a strong contender for this year's championship.
TCM Championship Could go to the Wire – Brian Boyd
"Johnson's round win meant he now tops the leaderboard over JB, but with the season entering the second half it is shaping up as a repeat of last year when the championship went down to the wire in the last round at Newcastle," Brian concluded.
The PAYNTER DIXON Touring Car Masters makes its next appearance at the Watpac Townsville 400 on 6-8 July - 2018.
Go Team PAYCE!