Ryan Hansford has won the 2022 Touring Car Masters series after a tricky weekend at the Adelaide 500. Last year Ryan finished 2nd outright in a nail biter, with John Bowe winning his 6th title. With one race to run in Adelaide Ryan secured his first Australian championship win in his 5th year in TCM.
“Ryan Hansford is the first driver in 13 years without the surname Johnson or Bowe to win the Touring Car Masters series” said commentator & Motorsport journalist Richard Craill.
Ryan arrived at the final round with a 78 point buffer, but during practice the Multispares Torana had a problem with the fuel regulator and pumped in way too much fuel for several seconds at 8000rpm. The team quickly replaced the regulator, flushed the system, changed the oil and the filter and Ryan rolled out in qualifying where he finished 2nd to the flying Steve Johnson in his Mustang.
With little practice and a new track surface, 2nd was a great effort to the Johnson Mustang.
“The car we’ve got under us at the moment is just great. The older one used to struggle with tyre life, and after two or three laps things would start to get a bit wild and go off.” said Ryan after qualifying
In the trophy race Ryan pitted at mid race distance to try a roll bar change such was the difference in the new track surface. With 60 points for a win, Ryan had one race win up his sleeve so in race 1 and race 2 he cruised to two 4th places. The handling was not perfect and with the boys at the front driving for the win, for Ryan it was all about the championship.
“I really enjoy racing in this category, I was pretty excited going out there in that second race, and I didn’t feel too nervous. I actually went hard at the start and took on the field when I could’ve just dropped back. There were a few moments at the end so I had to back off.” Ryan said after race 2
“I think winning the title will sink in a little bit after tomorrow’s race. One more race tomorrow, which I want to do well in, and we can have a bit of a celebration.” he added
In Race 3, with the title in the bag Ryan got a terrific start muscling Bowe into 4th over the kerbs at the first chicane. The speed was there from lap 1 and it wasn’t long before he made a pass on the Camaro driven by Porsche Cup gun Michael Almond who was having his 2nd appearance in TCM.
Sadly the move to 2nd was over with the engine going onto 7 cylinders into the hairpin on the same lap. To save the engine, Ryan rolled the Torana into the pits and switched it off. It was not worth the risk of blowing up the engine as he had already clinched the series win after race 2.
“It’s been a good year, and we’ve had an incredibly reliable car that everyone’s worked hard on…improving it, and making it quicker over the course of the year,” Hansford said.
“No doubt next year will be even tougher but we are already thinking about some improvements and the car will be getting a full rebuild over the break.”
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