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Hansford claims TCM Trophy Race
By Iwan Jones
Saturday 25th February, 2023 - 12:54pm
Reigning Touring Car Masters title winner Ryan Hansford stormed to victory in the TCM Trophy Race at AWC Race Tasmania.
Hansford (Holden Torana A9X) moved up from second to claim victory in the 15-lap race, taking the chequered flag ahead of Danny Buzadzic (Holden Torana A9X) and Andrew Fisher (Holden Torana A9X).
Starting from pole in the reverse grid Trophy Race in his comeback to motorsport, Marcus Zukanovic led the way in his Ford Falcon XD, from Hansford with Cameron Tilley in the Valiant Pacer and Peter Burnitt in the Holden Torana A9X sharing the second row of the grid.
Zukanovic made his way through the opening complex cleanly to control the lead of the race, with the front three holding position, as Buzadzic moved past Burnitt for fourth place on the opening lap, with Adam Williams (Holden Torana) also an early charger in the race moving up to sixth from ninth.
Hansford kept Zukanovic honest for several laps, before taking the lead of the race on Lap 5, passing Zukanovic at the hairpin, with Buzadzic overcoming Tilley for third.
He found his way into second before the Yellow Flag was waved on Lap 7, after a grass fire ignited at the final corner, the second in as many sessions for TCM, after a grass fire ended qualifying early yesterday.
After officials extinguished the spot fire, the race resumed on Lap 11, with Hansford leading the way from Buzadzic and Zukanovic.
Hansford stretched out to his advantage to 0.7220s over Buzadzic, with Zukanovic 1.6s off the the lead in third.
Fisher passed Zukanovic for third at Turn 6 on Lap 12, as John Bowe (Holden Torana SL/R) made his way past Tilley for fifth at the hairpin on Lap 13.
The race was called after 15 laps with Hansford holding off a late assault by Buzadzic to take victory by 0.3731s, with Fisher a further 0.3075s adrift in third.
Zukanovic dropped to fourth, with Race 1 polesitter Steven Johnson (Ford Mustang) finishing in fifth.
Tilley and Burnitt were the last of the runners, with Bowe and Williams classified as DNFs.
Touring Car Masters will return to the track for Race 1 at 14:50 local time/AEDT.
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