SUPPORTS: Johnson takes Darwin TCM pole

Steven Johnson

Paynter Dixon Touring Car Masters

Steve Johnson has notched up a second pole in succession in Touring Car Masters at the CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown.

The session once again came down to the famous names of Johnson and John Bowe, both of whom will start on the front row for the second race of the weekend.

Johnson took over top spot seconds before a red flag was called when Mark King became stranded on the grass having spun his Camaro at the Turn 6 hairpin.

Bowe jumped from bottom of the order to second, 0.16s shy of the #17 Mustang, after the stoppage.

Johnson went faster again with five minutes remaining and that 1:12.8852s ended up being the pole lap while Bowe subsequently improved to a 1:13.3452s in the #18 Torana.

Jason Gomersall (Torana) qualified third-fastest, from Andrew Fisher (XY Falcon) and the returning Jim Richards (Falcon Sprint).

King managed to move himself up to sixth, one position ahead of Whiteline Racing team-mate Adam Bressington (Camaro).

The Trophy Race is first up for TCM tomorrow at 1150 local time/1220 AEST before a second at 1435 local.

Justin Ruggier pic: Digital Realism

Aussie Racing Cars

Justin Ruggier has stormed to pole position for the Drive the NT Challenge exhibition round.

Ruggier was fastest for the duration of the session in the #8 Hertz/Western Sydney Motorsport entry.

He had initially held a 1:17.8459s before a red flag which effectively took away half the 20-minute qualifying hit-out.

When the session resumed, Ruggier lowered the benchmark to a 1:17.4225s, putting him more than 0.7s clear of Joel Heinrich.

Former Aussie Racing Cars full-timer Adam Uebergang will share Row 2 with category debutant Bryce Fullwood.

Row 3 is also locked out by cameo drivers in 2017 series runner-up Craig Woods and 2015 Hidden Valley ARC race winner Paul Morris.

Leigh Bowler was ninth-fastest despite finding the wall at Turn 10 and necessitating the red flag.

Racing starts tomorrow with two 11-lappers from 1015 and 1405 local time.

Improved Production Northern Territory/Commodore Cup/HQ Holdens

Tim Playford qualified fastest for the local Improved Production/Commodore Cup/HQ Holden support races.

Playford, in a Mazda 808, lapped Hidden Valley in a fastest time of 1:16.8974s, ahead of Robert Braune (BMW E30), Shane Satchwell (Datsun 1200), and Mick Uebergang (Mazda 808).

Bryce Fullwood, on double-duty in a Commodore Cup-spec VH, was the first of the non-Over 2L class cars in sixth outright.

Craig Wright (Ford Escort Mk 1) bested the Under 2L contingent in 15th outright, while Duane Cambridge was quickest of the HQs in 27th.

The first two of three eight-lap races will be held tomorrow from 0945 and 1340 local time.

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