Touring Car Masters profile: Steve Mason

Photography by: Dirk Klynsmith Photography

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Meet the series' first Shelby pilot, Steve Mason

Touring Car Masters profile: Steve Mason
Touring Car Masters profile: Steve Mason

 

TCM PROFILE: Steve Mason

Having won the inaugural series title of the Touring Car Masters in 2007, Steve Mason is no stranger to success and the challenges of the journey to the top. Moving from his trusty Chevrolet Camaro to the series’ first Shelby Mustang Fastback for this season, Mason is savouring the feeling of success once more, coming off the back of his class round win at Hidden Valley.

The first time the Hercules Engines Shelby Mustang hit the tarmac was at round two this year on the southern Phillip Island circuit, a baptism in freezing conditions, and the Mustang was taking time to settle in as Mason looked to master the new race package. The weekend proved to be a challenge, with results less than the team had hoped, but some great moves forward in learning the car, seeing the developments required and taking home a straight Shelby.

On to the top end for round three and Mason was confident the machine was well prepped and ready to take on the strong field for class wins, giving the Shelby the true presence and success deserved of it by the famous name the #3 bears. Further development between events had proven to put Mason right where he needed to be, qualifying well and going on to take a clean sweep of Class B race wins at the Hidden Valley circuit, a feat driver and team were proud of in only their second race meeting as Mason explained.

"I had raced at Hidden Valley three times before in my ‘69 Camaro with some great results, so we were going back very hopeful of a good result in the new ‘66 Shelby Fastback.

"The car felt good from the first lap, although it was a little stiff in the rear leaf spring which we had to live with as we didn’t have any softer springs on hand. Ned from Hercules in Sydney has since softened the rear and checked the rear spring/shock travel to make sure we get full droop next time out, so the Shelby should get through the corners a little quicker."

While certainly happy with the performance of Darwin, to set the complete package and look to further successes, the team will change the diff ratio to suit Queensland Raceway, as well as installing a heavier set of front springs to ensure the Shelby is settled across the bumps.

Having introduced the Mustang to full competition later in the season, Mason will treat the rest of the year as an ongoing test by trying different setups at each of the tracks, logging the info for a true crack at taking out his second series title next season.

(The Touring Car Masters is proudly supported by Shannons Insurance, Rare Spares, Unique Cars Magazine and the 2012 Australian Muscle Car Masters, with official suppliers Hoosier Tires and Australian Sports Marketing.)

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