Johnson on Touring Car Masters pole for Adelaide 500
By Iwan Jones
Thursday 1st December, 2022 - 2:29pm
Steven Johnson has qualified on pole for the 2022 Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters finale at the Valo Adelaide 500.
The three-time TCM title winner, who clean-swept all four races at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International last time out, blasted the fastest-ever qualifying lap time for the series around the Adelaide Parklands Circuit in his Ford Mustang, with a 1:26.6369s to seal pole position for Race 1 ahead of points leader Ryan Hansford in his Holden Torana A9X, with fellow Holden Torana A9X driver Andrew Fisher in third.
Johnson went to the top of the timesheets on his second lap with a 1:28.1443s, improving to a 1:27.3165s on his third lap, before pulling into pit lane.
Fisher moved up to second with a 1:28.4350s on his third lap, before Chevrolet Camaro SS driver Michael Almond went to the top on his fifth lap with a 1:28.1408s, pipping Johnson who remained in the pits by 0.0035s.
After being relegated to third, Fisher bested Almond for first position with a 1:27.9538s on his seventh lap, a time that would see him ultimately qualify third.
Johnson returned to the track after spending close to six minutes in the pits, launching to the top of the timesheets with a 1:26.6369s on his seventh lap, over one second clear of Fisher, who was in second at the time.
Late in the session, Hansford vaulted into second on his ninth lap with a 1:27.8527s, relegating Fisher to third.
Almond was ultimately classified fourth, ahead of six-time TCM title winner John Bowe fifth in his Holden Torana SL/R.
George Miedecke in his Chevrolet Camaro RS, Holden VB Commodore driver Gerard McLeod, and Tony Karanfilovski in his Ford Mustang qualified sixth, seventh, and eighth respectively, while Ben Dunn in his Chevrolet Monza and Holden Torana A9X driver Danny Buzadzic rounded out the top 10.
Holden Torana A9X driver Peter Burnitt, Ford Mustang pilot Leo Tobin, and Dave Hender in his Ford Falcon XY GT qualified ahead of Invitational Class competitor Jason Palmer in his BMW E30, while Chris Meulengraaf completed the field in his Porsche 911 IROC.
Touring Car Masters will next take to the track tomorrow for the Trophy Race, which features a partial reverse grid, at 11:25 local time/11:55 AEDT.