Two-time Bathurst 1000 champion John Bowe opened up a four-point lead in the Touring Car Masters series after taking out Round 3 in Darwin.
The Ford Mustang driver produced a lights-to-flag victory but it wasn’t straight forward as he had to fend off the advances of Jim Richards throughout the 10 lap encounter.
Soaking up intense pressure, Bowe managed to take the chequered flag by just eight tenths of a second from Richards’ Ford Falcon Sprint.
Mark King ended a successful weekend behind the wheel of his Chevrolet Camaro in third.
“We’ve had some great races over the years,” Bowe said of Richards.
“There was a bit of cat and mouse going on, and my car was better in some spots and his better in others and we left the rest of the field behind a bit because they was squabbling.
“I couldn’t let up and I’m sure he couldn’t let up. It’s great to be back here and I can’t wait to come back when they’ve resurfaced the track.
“Our cars are badly affected by the surface and they slide around a lot so it will be good to come back when we have some grip.”
King came through a thrilling race long battle with Adam Bressington to win the reverse grid race two.
The Whiteline Racing Camaro driver battled early leader Adam Bressington relentlessly in the opening laps, before boldly passing around the outside of turn one for the lead on lap six.
Behind there was plenty of action with a train of 10 cars fighting over the top points paying positions.
However, the race was brought to a premature end under the Safety Car after Leo Tobin’s HQ Holden deposited oil over the circuit at Turn 4, which caught out several of the top 10 runners.
As a result, King held on to take the win from Bressington and Richards, who started from seventh on the grid. Keith Kassulke came home in fourth while Bowe finished in fifth.
The next round of the ENZED Touring Car Masters series – the TCM ‘Thunder Down Under’ will support the V8 Supercars at Sydney Motorsport Park on August 22-24.