Gavin Bullas has emerged victorious from an action packed second round of the 2012 Touring Car Masters at Phillip Island.
Running with the Shannons Nationals for the first time in four years, the category produced three winners from its three races at the Victorian circuit.
Bullas finished second to John Bowe in the opening encounter after a mighty dice that saw the two Mustangs run side-by-side for almost a complete lap.
Bullas then managed sixth in the second race despite an early spin that dropped the Rain City Mustang from third to 11th.
Victory in the final ensured Bullas a narrow overall win from Brett Youlden, who came out on top in an intense last lap battle for the reverse top 10 grid Race 2 win with fellow Holden Monaro driver Mark King.
“It’s been a long time between drinks – my last win was Sydney 2010 – so it’s good to get this one done,” said Bullas afterward.
“It was a really tough weekend and none of the guys made it easy, that’s for sure. The battle JB and I had in Race 1 was one of the best bits of racing I’ve had – we were side by side for a long time and it was clean and hard but in the end we just couldn’t quite get there.
“It’s great to come here and put on the show that we did. It’s great to win at a track like this.”
Tony Edwards (Holden Torana) improved steadily throughout the weekend to beat King into third overall.
Keith Kassulke finished fifth in his first weekend aboard the ex-Jim Morton Ford Falcon XB, while John Bowe was just sixth after being forced to pit when the left-front corner of his Mustang’s bonnet started to lift.
Chris Collins (Ford Falcon XA), Jim Richards (AMC Javelin), Andrew Meidecke (Chevrolet Camaro) and Chris Stillwell (Ford Mustang) rounded out the top 10 for the round.
Richards failed to finish the first race thanks to a throttle linkage problem, but recovered to score a best result of third in the final.
The Phillip Island results see Bullas close Bowe’s series lead to just 14 points, with Youlden a further 33 adrift in third.
The 2012 Touring Car Masters series continues with the V8 Supercars Championship at Hidden Valley on June 15-17.