In another action packed race on the Island, Brett Youlden has secured his maiden Touring Car Masters victory, coming out with the glory after a race long challenge with fellow HQ pilot, Mark King.
Having joined the series in mid 2008, Youlden maintains a ‘local’ operation of a tight knit team who knew they had a win in the crosshairs and have finally turned their passion into the prestige of the number one result. The challenge was on from the green, with King from the front row and Youlden launching from sixth to third off the start of the weekend’s reverse grid top ten race.
Three wide into turn one for Stillwell, Benson and Miedecke, Collins was on the squeeze for track position looking to hold down fourth. Fresh from a race one to remember, Bullas charged around Pye for fifth, the lead pack having pulled a gap to the field by the close of the opening lap. With Hunter headed to the pits with an ignition fault, King was fastest out front, Pye and Kassulke were taking it side by side through the back of the circuit while Miedecke was hot on their trail before a black flag incident saw the #95 Camaro elect to retire to the garage.
Bowe was on his way through the field, moving to seventh by lap three. Bullas tried around and under the Collins XA before securing third on his way to hunt down the HQ duo at the helm. Mason had been looking to improve with new brake rotors in his debuting Mustang, but having tuned the brakes less not more, the Shelby was all locked up into turn three, the field firing past and Mason lucky to come out in the clear.
Pushing towards the leaders, Bullas ventured off through turn one trying to avoid the Pye Camaro that had made the move to capture third just turns before. A big lockup from King showed the pressure was on as he forced the Monaro forward as Youlden closed in, now right on the bumper. The family battle come to star in the series was once again on as Keene hunted down Sparks with Karanflovski in a slide under Treloar for 14th, but again the GTHO would end in the lane with fuel pressure issues once again rearing their head. Richards posted the fastest first sector now into the top ten with five laps to go, but for Abelnica it was a case of too hot on the throttle, venturing to the infield and retiring to pit lane.
The Bowe Mustang was into fifth, with the battle of Kassulke and Edwards in his sights, but a broken header, exhaust and bonnet pin saw a repeat of Adelaide’s bonnet curse, Stillwell locking up to avoid the slowed Bowe. Out the front, King was sliding the HQ through the corners looking to retake the lead from Youlden, King looking unsettled, but the car was dialled in to perfection and King was at maximum effort.
As the race one winner pitted with one lap to go, Youlden and King were side by side, on the squeeze through turn six, King back in the lead before Youlden went under to take P1 and drive away in the final lap to secure his maiden series victory in style, explaining,
“It was great and a very exciting race. I'm really happy for the team because we're a micro-team so I don’t mind if it was a reverse grid or not, to start from fifth and get our first win, it’s just all good!
“I don't think either of us (reference to King) had ideal cars, I could see Mark’s wasn't turning really well but I was getting the power down and had made the thumper start so chipped away and the laps seemed to be coming up on eighty not eight!
“It’s great to have taken a win with this series, and I couldn’t have done it without my dedicated crew and the support from Autolite, Royal Flare and Mothers Polishes."
Race 2 results
1 56 Brett Youlden
2 34 Mark King
3 9 Tony Edwards
4 11 Chris Collins
5 52 Keith Kassulke
6 16 Gavin Bullas
7 2 Jim Richards
8 15 Bill Pye
9 6 Chris Stillwell
10 22 Nigel Benson
The Touring Car Masters is proudly supported by Shanno ns Insurance, Rare Spares, Unique Cars Magazine and the 2012 Australian Muscle Car Masters, with official suppliers Hoosier Tires and Australian Sports Marketing.