FRESH from making his Paynter Dixon Touring Car Masters debut on the streets of Adelaide, Jeremy Gray will go one step further and introduce a new car to the series in round two at Phillip Island.
Adding another different model to an already eclectic grid, Gray will debut his purpose-built TCM specification Ford Capri Perana at Phillip Island next week.
The former V8 Ute and experienced Production Car and GT racer impressed driving a borrowed Torana in Adelaide, but hopes his new ride will take him a step further this year.
The Capri already has links to the category; former race and round winner Andrew Miedecke a former owner prior to Gray purchasing the car late last year.
“It’s Andrew Miedecke’s old tarmac rally car. After racing in GT4 with Andrew last year he and I got talking about it. I wasn’t keen on doing GT any more and have always loved TCM so I asked if he’d be willing to part with the car,” he explained.
“We got the car in November and stripped it to put into TCM specification. We changed brakes fuel cell, gearbox and the engine to make it legal for TCM but the car, as it looks, stays the same. It looks so good.”
Gray has elected to run the brand-new TCM ‘category engine’, an optional cost-effective way of obtaining reliable and usable power without the expense of extensive engine development.
“We put the category engine in it. It’s quite impressive. (In the Torana) at Adelaide even when I was in behind Bowe he didn’t have any more horsepower than me.
“It looks really good. The guys at Fataz (who are supplying the TCM category engine) in Queensland have got the engine in and have had it on the Dyno running properly.”
The vastly experienced racer said he loved his experience in Adelaide and was hoping to build on that at Phillip Island next week.
“Adelaide was a fantastic weekend. I loved the way it was fun and even just the atmosphere and vibe in the pits was great.
“I’ve raced a lot of categories and this was totally different being out on track; you’ve got those 600-700hp V8’s out there. It’s tough!
“I’m really looking forward to Phillip Island. The car is small and agile so may well be better suited to the tight street circuits but I think it might be OK. It’s a lot lighter than some of the other cars and Capri followers always talk about how slippery the car will be.
“We’re having another run on Thursday before Phillip Island and then we’ll be on track.”
Gray’s Capri will be the second to race in the Paynter Dixon Touring Car Masters: Tasmanian Adam Garwood and his dad, Greg, having both raced their ex-Tarmac Rally Capri in the series.
Garwood Snr. Won the Capri’s only race in the Dometic Trophy Race in Darwin two years ago, while Adam starred with the car at Bathurst a year prior, though was unable to grab a podium.
The second round of the 2019 Paynter Dixon Touring Car Masters will be contested over four races at the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint between April 12-14.
Qualifying and each race will be live on FOX Sports 506 and Kayo Sports.
IMAGES: Sam Law