S5000 and TCM entertain in Tailem Bend

Two regular Shannons SpeedSeries categories continued their 2023 seasons at the Shell V Power Motorsport Park on the weekend as part of the OTR SuperSprint.

The S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship and Gulf Western Oils Touring Cars Masters played a supporting role to the Repco Supercars Championship at the South Australian circuit, with both producing entertaining racing.

A strong field of 18 were entered in TCM’s fourth round of the year, while nine drivers contested the fifth round of the S5000 season as the round winners for each were decided in similar fashion.

Gulf Western Oils Touring Cars Masters

Like its appearances on the Shannons SpeedSeries bill, the popular category had four races across the weekend, starting off with the Trophy Race on Saturday morning before three official races were run.

In what proved an epic battle for top honours, Ryan Hansford ended up taking out the victory over debutant Joel Heinrich, despite the latter winning two of the three official races.

Heinrich had the better start of the two, qualifying on pole position and then taking out the Trophy Race victory over Hansford on Friday afternoon, with the South Australian qualifying in third place.

However, when it came to race one on Saturday afternoon, Hansford showcased his experience in the category as he and the fourth placed Andrew Fisher charged to the lead on the opening lap.

Photos: Daniel Kalisz Photographer

Heinrich ended up dropping further behind to fifth but managed to work his way to fourth where he finished, with just two tenths separating him and both Andrew Fisher and Steven Johnson, while Hansford broke away to a two and a half second win.

Unfortunately, it was a result that would prove the difference for round’s pointscore as Heinrich went on to win the remaining two races over Hansford, who finished second in each.

Although he didn’t win the round, Heinrich certainly showcased what we was made of as he guided his Chevrolet Camaro RS to an eight second win in race two and a seven second win in race three.

In the end, Heinrich fell just four points short of Hansford, while Johnson edged out Fisher for fourth place after finishing third in the final race to Fisher’s sixth place.

The Gulf Western Oils Touring Cars Masters’ next round will be the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International on 10-12 November.

S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship

Aaron Cameron has won his first S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship round for the season after beating Cooper Webster in a memorable duel between the two stars.

Like Hansford, Cameron only needed to win one race on his way to victory as he overcame Webster’s two wins and take out round honours by just nine points in total.

Right from the get-go, Cameron was on a mission as a he secured pole position over Webster by one and a half tenths with Jordan Boys in third place a further two tenths off.

While Cameron got pole position, Webster proved too good in the first race though, making the most of starting from the outside of the front row and passing Cameron on the opening lap.

From then on, he charged his way to the chequered flag, crossing the finish line more than five and a half seconds ahead of Cameron and more than six and a half seconds ahead of the third placed Boys.

Starting race two from pole position, Webster made no mistake as he crossed the line with an even bigger gap over Cameron – six seconds the difference in the end, while Boys was a further three seconds behind.

However, when it came to the weekend’s most important race, the feature race, the roles were reversed as Cameron produced a successful dive on the opening corner, passing Webster and the fast-starting Aaron Love in the process.

From the point, Cameron and Webster broke away from the chasing pack but the latter couldn’t regain the lead, instead settling for second place in the race and for the round.

Love’s third place in the feature race was also enough for him to leapfrog Boys for third overall as just one point separating them at the end of the meeting.

The S5000 Australian Drivers Championship’s next round will be the VAILO Adelaide 500 on 23-26 November.