Real Harris has swept to a maiden Paynter Dixon Touring Car Masters victory, winning a thrilling 12th race of the 2019 championship at Queensland Raceway ahead of Adam Garwood and Adam Bressington, the third points race of last weekend. Aaron Seton finished fourth but his two race wins on Saturday saw him secure his maiden TCM round victory, becoming the youngest ever round winner in series history.
The 12-lap finale was a thriller from the start, Harris’ EFS Camaro beating Seton into the first corner to lead the field. The Queenslander then withstood sustained pressure for the remainder of the race as he steadfastly refused to surrender the lead.
Seton was second until lap nine, when a charging Adam Garwood displaced the Mustang with a bold move. After being turned around in Saturday’s second race, Garwood was the field’s biggest mover – ninth at the end of the first lap, fifth by lap six and third by lap eight. The young Tasmanian threw everything at the leader in the final few laps, however fell just short in one of the best shows of the year to date.
Harris becomes the fifth driver to win his first career TCM race this season and the third of the Queensland Raceway weekend, following earlier triumphs from Cameron Mason and Aaron Seton.
“I think I had the widest Camaro in Australia for that race!” Harris said. “We’ve come a long way with the car and I cant thank the team and the sponsors enough. It was a tough old race but those kind of races where it’s pressure filled I actually love. I love pressure on me, driving in the mirror the whole thing. I held my one line – in the middle of the track. I didn’t think it would work for that many laps but it did.
“The car has some good speed, we still need to tweak it with the handling and braking but we’re not far off with it, and we’ve come a long way.”
Seton’s overall triumph means he and his father Glenn become the first father-son combination to have won TCM rounds.
“It’s very special, I really enjoyed this weekend,” Seton said. “I can’t thank Leo Tobin enough for the opportunity to drive his beautiful Mustang, I really enjoyed it here, developing my driving and racing with the other guys.
“It was really close with Ryal and Adam there at the end, it was really enjoyable.”
Adam Bressington finished third, holding the position for much of the race and only losing it when Garwood slipped by; he then passed Seton on the final lap to secure the final step on the podium. Seton’s fourth place was enough to secure him the overall and ProAm class victory, while Harris’ race win saw him take the ProMasters class honours for the weekend. Ben Dunn took his Chevrolet Monza to Pro Sports class honours this weekend.
Steven Johnson completed a quiet race to fifth position, though in finishing one position ahead of John Bowe – who was sixth – steadied the now reduced points’ margin between the pair. Hansford, who was penalised for his contact with Garwood on Saturday, raced his way through the field to seventh position while Cameron Mason, Rob Hackwood and Jason Gomersall completed the top-10.
Johnson’s challenging weekend, coupled with strong performances by several key title rivals, have closed up the Paynter Dixon Touring Car Masters title battle heading into the second half of the season. The WM Waste Ford Mustang driver now leads John Bowe’s Paynter Dixon Torana by just 44 points with three rounds to go.
Ryal Harris has moved to third in the championship, his EFS Camaro just 57 points from the lead while Adam Bressington’s VDC Camaro is just one point further back in fourth.
Despite a spin in the final race at Queensland Raceway, Jim Pollicina continued to maintain his lead in the Pro-Am class and remain in outright title contention too – 125 points behind Johnson. Bruce Williams and Ryan Hansford sixth and seventh in the championship, with Cameron Mason, Aaron Seton and Adam Garwood rounding out the top-10.
The Paynter Dixon Touring Car Masters series continues in four weeks via a highly anticipated return to the Muscle Car Masters event at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The weekend will include the first night race in series history on Saturday evening, the unique floodlit affair to also mark the 300th race in series history.
Current Points (After four rounds):
Steven Johnson (Mustang) 627
John Bowe (Torana) 583
Ryal Harris (Camaro) 570
Adam Bressington (Camaro) 569
Jim Pollicina (Torana) 502
Bruce Williams (Torana) 403
Ryan Hansford (Torana) 377
Cameron Mason (Mustang) 374
Aaron Seton (Mustang) 348
Adam Garwood (Camaro) 335