ATCC: Symmons Plains preview

SYMMONS PLAINS PREVIEW Local hero John Bowe will start a narrow favourite as the Shell Australian Touring Car Championship moves to Tasmania's Symmons Plains circuit for round 2 on February 26th. Bowe dominated practice for the opening round...

SYMMONS PLAINS PREVIEW

Local hero John Bowe will start a narrow favourite as the Shell Australian Touring Car Championship moves to Tasmania's Symmons Plains circuit for round 2 on February 26th.

Bowe dominated practice for the opening round at Sandown and only a spin in the treacherous conditions of the first heat stopped him from winning the day.

The Tasmanian leads the Ford brigade with team-mate Dick Johnson, Peter Jackson team-mates Glen Seton and Alan Jones, Tony Longhurst - fresh from a strong first up performance in the Falcon at Sandown - and former open wheel star Mark Larkham debuting the Mitre 10 team Falcon.

Round one winner Commodore driver Larry Perkins will lead the Holden charge which should be strengthened by the return of defending champion Mark Skaife. Skaife is back from injuries sustained in a terrifying pre season crash at Sydney's Eastern Creek and will partner expat Kiwi Jim Richards for the Gibson MotorSport team.

Holden legend, Aussie cultural icon and ageing juvenile lead Peter Brock will head the factory team with the fast but unreliable Thomas Mezera as his team mate. The factory team will be looking for a much improved performance as they are currently playing an unaccustomed second fiddle to the other Group one Holden teams of Gibson, Perkins and Gardner.

Local Commodore privateer Greg Crick, a former winner of the Targa Tasmania and an Australian Sports Sedan title holder will be looking for another good performance to try and secure a sponsor for the rest of the season. Crick was the best of the Group 2 "privateers" at Sandown but he will be under pressure from fellow Holden runners Chris Smerdon, Mark Poole, David Attard and newcomer Paul Romano who all made good showings in the Sandown deluge. While Ford's Group 2 honour will be defended by the man from the Daily Planet John Trimbole in an ex Dick Johnson EB Falcon.

All teams will be looking for good showings at Symmons before confronting the 3rd round challenge of the Mountain at Bathurst.

-- Brett Ramsey On-Line Media Consultant. Check out http://www.deakin.edu.au/arts/VPMA/Media3.html

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Series General
Drivers Alan Jones , Mark Skaife , Mark Larkham , John Bowe , Thomas Mezera , Tony Longhurst , Larry Perkins , Peter Brock , Greg Crick , Dick Johnson