Supercars series leader Scott McLaughlin is not the only driver with demons to exorcise entering the final weekend of the season.
McLaughlin surrendered the championship in Newcastle last year when he incurred three time penalties in the second 250km race of the weekend.
Sunshine Coast driver Al “Cusso” Boughen may not be anywhere near the pointy end of the premier class, but he has some atonement in mind nonetheless.
Boughen’s 1964 Mercury Comet blew an engine in qualifying for last year’s Touring Car Masters races and he barely had a chance to drive the coastal track.
“It was really early in the piece, so we didn’t get many laps really at all,” he said on Thursday in the TCM pits at Newcastle Station.
“We repaired it for a race and went out, but it didn’t work. We had deeper issues, so we had to put it away.”
The Comet is driven by a “347 Ford Windsor stroker 302” engine and has a Nascar-style four-speed gearbox with an H-pattern shift.
“I like something different,” Boughen said.
“We could have picked a normal sort of a car, but we chose something different. It’s not exactly the best race car you’d ever find, but we’re slowly turning it into that.”
Boughen, who started racing in the 1970s, is hopeful of more reliability this year after a promising outing at Bathurst last month.
He spends about $20,000 a round to race – this weekend will be his sixth of the year – and the TCM cars cost more than $200,000.
“It’s an exciting category, colourful, fast, loud. They’re heavily modified, but they still retain their body shape so the guys can tell that’s a Torana and that’s a Mustang.
“Underneath they’re fairly well livened up.”
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