Ryan Hansford and his Multispares Torana arrived at Sandown 5 points behind John Bowe in the 2022 Touring Car Masters championship and after a wet and wild weekend is now 5 points ahead of John Bowe.
- Ryan Hansford 567 pts
- John Bowe 562 pts
- George Miedecke 480 pts
All the teams arrived at Sandown on Friday and the forecast was looking grim for the whole weekend, but the cars rolled out for practice 1 on a dry, cold track with some damp patches. Ryan put in some good laps and ended up 2nd which was terrific given Sandown’s moto is “the home of horsepower”.
Qualifying was later on Friday afternoon and the wet weather was rolling in. With the team looking at the radar they made the decision to roll the dice and try and put down a lap with slick tyres before the track got even wetter.
It was super slippery but Ryan managed to be 2nd quickest on his first flying lap as most drivers came straight in before completing their first lap to put on wets. Then there was a red flag when a car got bogged, followed by a second red flag so Ryan pitted for wets. By now everyone was on wets but the session was called early as there was still cars firing off the track as many desperately tried to get a fast lap in. In the end more than half of the field hadn’t actually done a flying lap so after reviewing the qualifying and speaking with drivers the stewards cancelled qualifying and set the grid from the practice session times. No matter which, Ryan would start race 1 from 2nd and on the front row.
Saturday morning brought more rain and first up was the reverse grid trophy race so the team took the opportunity to try a more aggressive wet weather set up but it wasn’t quick so whilst Ryan made up some spots he was content to finish and pick up the 10 points for starting and the 10 points for finishing.
Race 1 was scheduled for the middle of the afternoon but sadly the weather deteriorated, including lightning so many races were cancelled with only the TCR cars lucky enough to run late in the afternoon.
Race 2 was Sunday mid-morning and once again Ryan and the team were faced with a difficult decision. The track was drying with the Porsches on track before TCM, but the radar clearly showed some more rain moving in. 6 cars decided to race on slicks with 14 going with wets. A couple of cars even deciding to change at the last 5 minutes in the “dummy” grid. Ryan chose the wets only because even if it stayed dry, he could still finish the race but if it rained heavily mid or late race, you might crash or have to come in and change tyres.
He finished 7th…”It was a 50/50 decision and the boys left the ultimate decision to me as I had to drive the car. Hindsight is of course wonderful, and it very nearly went our way because less than 5 minutes after the race ended down came the rain” said Ryan after the race.
“The boys gave me all the information and it really was a flip of the coin.” “There is no point in beating ourselves up. It might go the other way next time” added Ryan.
For Race 3, Ryan started 7th, and even on the warm up lap he felt the car had terrific grip. It had rained heavily and the track was very wet but no huge puddles. At the start the Multispares Torana hooked up nicely and getting fantastic drive, Ryan made up two places down the Sandown straight before turn 1.
The Multispares Torana was flying in the wet and Ryan was driving it perfectly. By lap 3 he had taken the lead setting fastest laps each time and making passes inside and out. His passes for 2nd and then 1st were done round the outside on the fastest corner of the track getting the TV commentators super excited about one of Ryan’s best drives since joining TCM.
“That was super fun, and I have never been as pumped after a race as I was then.” said Ryan
“I am so pleased for Multispares and the team. The car was perfect. The boys really nailed the wet settings. Bring on Bathurst and Adelaide.” added Ryan.
Bathurst International – November 11 – 13 – Stan Sport, 9Gem
Adelaide 500 – December 1 – 4 – Foxsports & Kayo
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