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Hansford shakes up TCM at the mountain

Ryan Hansford has pulled off a sublime race win at Mt Panorama Bathurst in race 3 of the 2nd round of the 2021 Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters series.

After surprising many with 2nd fastest in qualifying, and holding the top spot until the last 30 seconds to the flying Camaro of young gun Adam Garwood, Ryan was confident going into race 1 with the Multispares Torana’s speed across the top of the mountain but until he got into race conditions he still wasn’t sure he could off off the superior straight line speed of the 6 litre Camaro’s, Mustang’s and XD Falcon’s.

“I am really pleased with the Torana here at Bathurst, and after being out on track and checking the splits, I am the fastest across the top” Said Ryan “What I not sure about is, if a couple of the big bangers go past me up mountain straight I will then not be able to pass them across the top and get that gap I need before we hit Conrod straight” he added.

After the trophy race which is the reverse grid race, Ryan was a little more confident that he can hang in the slip stream of the 6 litre cars and he went from the back of the grid to 9th taking it easy through the traffic and sizing up where he could pull off some passes.

Race 1 was on Saturday in front of a maximum allowed crowd plus plenty of eyes watching on Foxsports, Kayo and the new 7Plus live stream (no ads) Seven network coverage.

“ I got a great start and was able to hold the pack up before getting to Griffin Bend and then put my head down across the top. I was able to take a deep breath at Forest Elbow as when I looked in rear view mirror I had a big enough gap” Said Ryan after race 1.

Over the first 4 laps Ryan was pulling away from the field and was about to settle into a race pace with a handy gap when coming out of the Chase he felt the rear end move on the exit and sure enough 2 corners later he had a flat tyre. He made it to the top of the track driving very slowly but could hear the blown tyre flapping and banging against the body work, so after watching many race cars destroyed from this, parked it up. Ultimately he made it back to the pits crawling along at not much more than walking pace, but a certain race victory had been taken away.

In Ryan’s post race interview he was obviously disappointed but was taking the positives and was ready to fight it out from the rear in race 2.

Race 2 was on Sunday morning and Ryan got a good start but with wall to wall cars in front, he had to be cautious on lap 1 but once the gaps started to appear, he was picking them off and finished a fabulous 6th. After the race many of his fellow competitors came and were keen to speak to Ryan about just how much quicker he was than them particularly across the top of the mountain.

Race 3 started at 1pm so prime time with the race also being shown on the Free to Air 7Mate channel along with the usual pay TV and streaming 7Plus. Super 2 and Supercars followed so with plenty of eyes watching Ryan drove the race of his life.

Starting 6th where he finished in race 2 Ryan was soon on the back of the front pack and what ensued was one of the best races seen at Bathurst in along time. The front 4 TCM cars passed each other numerous times and Ryan was not only fast but made some aggressive moves and with the extra speed on tyres that were getting to the end of their life, won the race in what he described as the best race car he has ever driven around Mt Panorama.

That race win puts Ryan back in the hunt and the next round at Sydney Motorsport Park on May 1st and 2nd should also suit the dynamics of the Multispares Torana. Both days will be televised live and free on the 7Plus streaming channel.

(1) TV RATINGS: Strong start for new era on 7 – The Race Torque
(6) Bathurst Lap on the limit – YouTube

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