Touring Car Masters debutant Ryan Hansford says that he can challenge for outright race wins when the series descends on Queensland Raceway for Round 4 this weekend.
Hansford made the switch from the V8 Ute Racing Series to TCM this year, with Utes team Peters Motorsport now fielding the Queenslander in a 1974 SL/R Torana.
In a promising first hit-out in Adelaide, Hansford placed the #6 Multispares entry third on the grid, finishing Race 1 and the Trophy Race in the same position but recording a DNF in Race 2 due to steering problems.
The 35-year-old topped a wet day of practice in Round 2 at Winton, but was plagued by power steering failures at both that round and the next at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway.
Nevertheless, Hansford sits second in the ProAm standings for amateur drivers, 70 points adrift of Adam Bressington.
With the Ipswich round next up, Hansford is confident that he can run at the very front of the field at what is a home venue for he and the team.
“From the get-go I was hoping to be challenging for outright wins and hopefully win the series outright as well,” he told Speedcafe.com.
“I am an amateur driver but I’ve been around the sport now for a while and I’d like to think I can match it with those quicker guys in the series, for sure.
“QR is our home track and generally in practice there I go very well, so to be honest I think we’ll be very close to the pointy end after next weekend, and if we’re not I’m going to be disappointed.
“In Winton and Darwin, we had that drama with power steering, which has been worked on since Darwin so it’s all meant to be pretty good now.
“That’s just been a bit of a handbrake going forward because every session we go out we have some sort of drama with power steering so it’s hard to get good feedback on where we actually are with the car because they’re a handful to muscle around without power steering.”
Hansford’s exit from V8 Utes, in which he finished a personal best third in the series last year, was instigated by sponsor Multispares amid uncertainty about the introduction of the SuperUtes platform.
While Peters Motorsport stablemate Ryal Harris has already committed to racing a Mazda BT-50 when the ECB SuperUtes Series kicks off in 2018, Hansford told Speedcafe.com that he has no plans to return to ute racing at present, with any decision again coming down to sponsors.
“I work full-time as a carpenter, I always have, I don’t have my own money or my own sponsors to be going racing in anything I like,” he explained.
“I’m just really thankful to Rod Dawson and Peters Motorsport for giving me a drive, and obviously Multispares and Australian Transmission Components.
“They allow me to race, I don’t have to pay, I’m a really lucky guy in that regard, so if anything came my way I’d race it.”
Meanwhile, Jim Richards will be absent from this weekend’s TCM round due to his appearance at the Silverstone Classic, where he will be reunited with the iconic JPS BMW.
Mark King will continue in Nigel Benson’s borrowed HQ Monaro, with his Camaro still not repaired after a multi-car crash during Round 2 at Winton in May.
TCM will form part of the support card for the Coates Hire Ipswich Super Sprint, from July 28-30.
Entry list: Round 4, Queensland Raceway
|3||Hercules Engines||Cameron Mason||NSW||1966||Ford||Mustang Fastback|
|4||Skye Sands||Rusty French||VIC||1970||Ford||Mustang Fastback|
|5||ACDelco||Bruce Williams||VIC||1974||Holden||Torana SL/R 5000|
|6||Multispares Racing||Ryan Hansford||QLD||1974||Holden||Torana SL/R 5000|
|7||Wisely Motorsport||Bob Wisely||QLD||1974||Holden||Torana SL/R 5000|
|12||Giraffe Civil Contracting||Adam Garwood||TAS||1974||Holden||Torana SL/R 5000|
|17||WM Waste / Illusion Gas Log Fires||Steve Johnson||QLD||1969||Ford||Mustang Fastback|
|18||Wilson Security / PAYCE||John Bowe||VIC||1974||Holden||Torana SL/R 5000|
|19||Tincone Industrial Services||Darren Beale||QLD||1972||Holden||Monaro GTS Coupe|
|25||Hutchinson Builders / Angliss Meats||Brett Curran||QLD||1967||Ford||Mustang Fastback|
|26||Wanna Burger||Shannon O’Brien||QLD||1972||Pontiac||Firebird Trans Am|
|31||GFR Industries||Geoff Fane||QLD||1970||Ford||Mustang Fastback|
|35||Bigmate Racing||Jason Gomersall||QLD||1978||Holden||Torana A9X Hatchback|
|46||THD Motorsport||Leo Tobin||VIC||1969||Ford||Boss Mustang|
|48||Brisbanes Cheapest Cars||Eddie Abelnica||VIC||1974||Ford||Falcon XB Coupe|
|52||Outbound Racing / wheels.com.pg||Keith Kassulke||QLD||1973||Holden||Monaro GTS Coupe|
|60||Glennan Transport / ANGLOMOIL||Cameron Tilley||NSW||1969||Valiant||Pacer|
|76||Falvey Motorsport||David Falvey||QLD||1978||Holden||Torana A9X Hatchback|
|85||Whiteline Racing / King Springs||Mark King||QLD||1972||Holden||Monaro GTS Coupe|
|88||TIFS – Warehousing & Distribution||Tony Karanfilovski||NSW||1969||Ford||Mustang Trans Am|
|95||Whiteline Racing / Fabre Australia||Adam Bressington||NSW||1969||Chevrolet||Camaro SS|
|97||John’s Furniture Removals||Allen Boughen||QLD||1963||Mercury||Comet|