John Bowe has extended his lead in the Touring Car Masters points standings by taking out the opening race of the Muscle Car Masters weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The Coates Hire Ford Mustang led all 10 laps from pole position, eventually taking the flag nearly six seconds clear of Jim Richards.
Richards was eventually classified third, however, after being handed a five-second time penalty for a false start.
That elevated Andrew Miedecke to second, enabling the Camaro driver to draw within one point of Richards for second in the standings.
Bowe meanwhile is romping towards a third straight TCM title, with his lead out to almost 100 points.
“I’ll take the wins where I can,” said Bowe, before turning his attention to the reverse top 50 percent grid Race 2.
“I’ll stick to the usual plan to do my best and I doubt it’s going to be easy as it’s hard to pass here and there’s many great competitors who’ll be ahead of me.
“With the heavy weight of the car, I’ve got to be kind to the tyres. When you’re on your own you can be kind to the tyres, but when you’re in the pack it’s certainly not that easy, so it should be some good racing for the rest of the weekend.”
Cameron Tilley (Ford Mustang), Eddie Abelnica (Ford Falcon XB) and Les Walmsley (Holden Monaro) completed the top six finishers in the opening heat.
Adam Bressington’s Monaro ran in the top 10 during the opening laps before breaking a conrod.
Saturday at the Muscle Car Masters also saw Trophy races for Group A and Group C touring cars, which were taken out by Terry Lawlor (Caltex Ford Sierra) and Edward Singleton (STP Holden Commodore) respectively.
Bill Pye (Greens Tuf Ford Mustang) had proven the class of the combined Heritage Touring Cars C & A race earlier in the day.
Tom Tweedie (Chevron) narrowly beat Clark Proctor (March) in the Formula 5000 opener, while other winners were David Wall (Group Nc over 3500 Races 1 and 2), Andrew Williams (Group Nc under 3500 Race 1), Bill Attard (Group Nc under 3500 Race 2), Bill Trengrove (Group Nb Races 1 and 2) and Rusty French (Group S Races 1 and 2).
Another full day of action will complete the Muscle Car Masters event on Sunday.