Engine failures hit TCM and V8 Ute points leaders

Mechanic 'Big Sammy' haflway through the engine change on Bowe's Mustang

Mechanic ‘Big Sammy’ halfway through the engine change on Bowe’s Mustang. pic: Facebook

John Bowe and Nathan Pretty endured difficult starts to Round 2 of their respective Touring Car Masters and V8 Ute Racing Series campaigns at Barbagallo, with engine failures hitting both competitors.

Bowe’s Ford Mustang dropped a cylinder on the opening lap of Practice 1, ensuring the popular veteran was on the sidelines for the remainder of the day.

The former Australian Touring Car Champion will return with a spare engine for qualifying tomorrow.

Bowe’s issues left Eddie Abelnica (Ford Falcon XB) to top the time sheets by a relatively comfortable 0.4s in the afternoon from Andrew Miedecke (Chevrolet Camaro).

Michael Almond (Porsche 911 RS), Gavin Bullas (Ford Falcon XA) and Jim Richards (Ford Falcon Sprint) completed the top five, while Les Walmsley (Holden Monaro HQ) was also within a second of the pace in sixth.

Like Bowe, Camaro driver Mark King missed the second session after his engine let go in Practice 1.

Nathan Pretty's Holden looked the goods until the first lap of qualifying

Nathan Pretty’s Holden looked the goods until the first lap of qualifying

In the V8 Utes, Pretty’s Holden waited until the first lap of qualifying to fail – ensuring that the Milwaukee Holden will start Race 1 from the back of the grid tomorrow.

David Sieders (Ford) made the best of the first running of the Formula 1-style knock-out qualifying system to take pole from Ryal Harris (Ford).

Tony Longhurst (Holden), Kris Walton (Ford), Stephen White (Holden) and Jesse Dixon (Holden) filled third through sixth at the end of Q3.

With the series awarding full race-equivalent points for qualifying, Harris now leads the standings from Gary Baxter and Rhys McNally.

State-level Formula Ford and Saloon Car racing is also on the V8 Supercars support bill this weekend, with former Commodore Cup racer Scott Andrews taking a comfortable win in the opening racing for the single-seaters.

Leanne Tander finished an impressive second on her return to racing following the birth of her second child in February.

Former V8 Ute series winner Grant Johnson took pole ahead of the opening Saloon Car race, edging fellow Commodore VT driver Nathan Callaghan by just 0.03s.

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