The ENZED Touring Car Masters debut of V8 Supercars regular Greg Ritter highlights a strong entry for this coming weekend’s season finale’ at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. The Rare Spares Phillip Island Tourist Trophy will see the 1999 Australian Formula Ford Champion make his TCM debut behind the wheel of Tony Hunter’s Sunliner RV Chevrolet Monza.
Ritter has vast experience in V8 Supercars competition and contested every Bathurst 1000 race between 2001 and 2014 – including nine consecutive starts with Garry Rogers Motorsport. His TCM debut comes as the series looks to decide the ProMaster title this week with Australian racing legends Jim Richards and John Bowe split by just five points at the top of the standings.
“I’m looking forward to it. Tony was looking for someone to drive the car and we started talking and from there it didn’t take long to put a deal together,” Ritter said. “TCM looks like great fun. The cars are interesting and it’s got huge crowd appeal which is why this has come together.
“I’ve been talking to a sponsor for a while now with a view to going into Utes or Development Series, but TCM seems to get as much, if not more, exposure as those at a more cost effective price.”
Ritter said he was looking to use Phillip Island as a first step towards a potential long-term future in the category next season. “Phillip Island is a toe in the water for us with a view to a full season next year,” he said. “I’d like to think I’d be competitive otherwise I wouldn’t do it. The goal would have to be a podium and I think that’s a realistic chance given what people have told me about the car.
“I won’t drive it until the Friday at Phillip Island but it should be good and we should be competitive.”
Ritter’s addition to the grid ensures a strong finish to the season with 25 cars set to race across three races this weekend. With 180 points up for grabs it’s also more than just Richards-versus-Bowe at for the ProMaster title. Mark King (Third, -96 points), Andrew Miedecke (-155) and Eddie Abelnica (-153) all remain in mathematical championship calculations ahead of the Phillip Island weekend.
Lubrimaxx Chevrolet Camaro driver Miedecke was a winner at Phillip Island last year while for Abelnica there’s home track advantage, Phillip Island not too far from his Suburban Melbourne base.
Steven Johnson will return to the wheel of Mustang ‘Sally’, as will Bowe behind the wheel of the Bendigo Retro Muscle Cars Holden Torana SL/R 5000 that he’s raced so effectively this season.
Several newcomers will join the field – amongst them Toowoomba driver Royston Evans and his remarkable 1966 Pontiac GTO Trans Am entry. The GTO is a genuine NASCAR Grand National racer and was built by US legend Bobby Allison for the 1966 season – racing in 34 of the 50 races. Evans’ TransAm rival Brett Curran will also make his TCM Phillip Island debut, driving a 1967 Ford Mustang TransAm – to be joined by local Group N racers Andy Clempson (’69 Ford Mustang) and Angelo Taranto (’68 Chevrolet Camaro). The remainder of the field includes familiar faces like Porsche 911 IROC pilots Rohan Little and Sven Burchartz, 16-year-old Tasmanian Adam Garwood in a Torana SL/R 5000 and the welcome planned return of Graham Alexander and his HT Monaro GTS.
Missing from the field will be the Thunder Road Racing Team Ford Mustang driven by Glenn Seton, the team confirming via Facebook recently that they would be sitting out for this round in order to rebuild for the future. The Rare Spares Phillip Island Tourist Trophy will include three races across the weekend – two on Saturday and one on Sunday prior to the V8 Supercars.
RARE SPARES ISLAND TOURIST TROPHY - ENTRY LIST
2 Shannons Insurance Jim Richards VIC 1972 AMC Javelin Grey/Green 5890
4 Skye Sands Rusty French VIC 1970 Ford Mustang Fastback Black 5800
7 Red Rock Winery Rohan Little VIC 1974 Porsche 911 IROC Silver 3600
9 Jesus Racing Andrew Fisher NSW 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Grey/Red 5800
10 Sunliner RV Greg Ritter VIC 1971 Chevrolet Monza 2+2 White/Black 5800
11 Lion Mill Solutions/Ultra Performance Products Tony Edwards VIC 1973 Ford Falcon XA GT Violet 5768
12 Giraffe Civil Contracting Adam Garwood TAS 1974 Holden Torana SL/R 5000 White 5047
17 PAYCE/Wilson Security Steven Johnson QLD 1969 Ford Mustang Trans Am Blue/Yellow 5800
18 Dunlop Super Dealers/ Wilson Security/ PAYCE John Bowe VIC 1974 Holden Torana SL/R 5000 Blue/Yellow 5047
20 Storage King Ian Palmer QLD 1970 Pontiac Trans-Am White/Blue 5800
24 RPM Mechanical Repairs Royston Evans Pontiac GTO Trans Am Black/Gold 6899
35 iseek Racing Jason Gomersall QLD 1974 Holden Torana SL/R 5000 White/Blue 5047
46 THD Motorsport Leo Tobin VIC 1972 Holden HQ Monaro Coupe Orange 5810
48 Melbourne's Cheapest Cars Eddie Abelnica VIC 1974 Ford Falcon XB Coupe Red 5800
52 Angliss Meats Brett Curran QLD 1967 Ford Shelby Fastback White/Red 5800
56 Gabriel Shock Absorbers Brett Youlden VIC 1972 Holden HQ Monaro Coupe Green 5800
57 Corio Auto Parts Graham Alexander VIC 1968 Holden HT Monaro Orange 5819
60 Glennan Transport / Tilleys Racing Equipment Cameron Tilley NSW 1969 Valiant Pacer Blue 4390
74 Lyndways Builders Wayne Mercer VIC 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Blue 5800
75 Quest Roofing Andy Clempson VIC 1969 Ford Mustang TransAm White 5800
81 Tarosa Stairs Angelo Taranto VIC 1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS TransAm Yellow 5800
85 Whiteline Transport Racing / King Springs Mark King QLD 1970 Chevrolet Camaro RS Red/Bla/White 5800
88 TIFS - Warehousing & Distribution Tony Karanfilovski NSW 1969 Ford Mustang Trans Am Orange 5800
90 Kalus Kenny Intelex Sven Burchartz VIC 1974 Porsche 911 IROC Orange 3600
95 Whiteline Transport Racing / Lubrimaxx Andrew Miedecke NSW 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Black/Blue 5800