Round 3 of the 2023 Touring Car Masters series was held at Winton Motor Raceway in Benalla, central Victoria. Ryan Hansford arrived hoping to claw back points from runaway leader Steve Johnson. As always, practice was first up on Friday morning and Ryan was comfortably 3rd, reporting all was well with the Torana.
Next up on Friday was qualifying and not having raced at Winton since 2019 the aim was to go out and bank a quick lap then sit in the pits to save the tyres. Steve Johnson and John Bowe had other ideas, putting down some very fast times. Ryan went back out for a few more laps, but finished .05 of a sec off JB and Steve Johnson claimed another pole position .25 of a sec faster than Ryan. It was then another .66 of a sec back to 4th.
In Race 1 Johnson lead the field away but Ryan jumped JB into 2nd. Stevie J put in a mighty first lap and gapped Ryan by .88 of sec. On lap 2, Steve was only .2 quicker and by lap 3 Ryan was lapping faster than Steve and the field, claiming the fastest race lap of the weekend. But Ryan had notice a slight miss in the engine. Every lap the miss fire got worse but with oil pressure, oil temp and water temp all good he pressed on and, whilst getting slower, remained 2nd until with 3 corners to go the Torana cut out. He tried completely turning everything off, but it simply would not fire. After believing he could have caught Steve, this was a cruel result. A small bracket that on the starter motor had broken and the starter cable shorted on the body. It could have caught fire and also could have fried the whole electrics, so perhaps we were lucky the battery and isolation switch took all the electrical load. The team had a spare battery and quick trip to a local parts shop found an isolation switch.
With the Torana fixed and all the wiring and MSD checked, Ryan lined up 13th for Race 2 on Sunday morning. He got a terrific start passing many cars and worked his way to 3rd before getting a tap from behind and spinning. He got the Multispares Torana re-started and passed a few more cars for the second time, finishing 7th.
https://youtu.be/flh5EuVr474 – Check out Lap 1 of race 2.
Starting Race 3 from 7th, Ryan had a good solid race being careful not to get into any scraps and finished 5th.
“That was a tough weekend. We came to Winton looking for a podium or a win and I really thought on those first 3 laps of race 1 the boys had the car perfect, even though we came up a bit short in qualifying.” said Ryan
“All we can do is look forward to The Bend in South Australia in August. I haven’t raced there but I love the layout and the Multispares Torana should be fast” Ryan added.
https://youtu.be/CXTjkAUrv4U – Check this cool new angle watching Ryan at work. It’s awesome, and really shows his skills.
Round 4 is with Supercars, August 18, 19, 20 telecast live on Foxsports & Kayo.
And don’t forget to see all the updates on the Multispares Racing Facebook page.