Johnson seals milestone TCM victory in Adelaide
By Iwan Jones
Friday 2nd December, 2022 - 7:04pm
Three-time Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters series winner Steven Johnson has secured a milestone victory in Race 1 of the season finale at the Valo Adelaide 500.
Johnson took the chequered flag to claim his 50th race win in TCM, ahead of Holden Torana A9X driver Andrew Fisher, with Trophy Race winner George Miedecke rounding out the podium in his Chevrolet Camaro RS.
The pole-sitter led the field through the Senna Chicane from series leader Ryan Hansford (Holden Torana A9X), Fisher, Miedecke, and six-time TCM title winner John Bowe in his Holden Torana A9X.
There was plenty of jostling for positions in the opening laps, with Michael Almond (Chevrolet Camaro SS) diving down the inside of Gerard McLeod’s Holden VB Commodore for sixth at the Turn 9 hairpin on Lap 2, before Fisher made his way past Hansford for second at the Turn 9 hairpin on Lap 3, as Johnson stretched his lead out to 2.1s.
Miedecke passed Hansford for third ahead of the Turn 9 hairpin on Lap 4, leaving the latter within sights of fellow title contender Bowe in fifth.
Later in the lap, Bowe made a lunge on Hansford at the Turn 14 hairpin, but didn’t pull off the move.
Almond set the then fastest lap of the race with a 1:27.0584s on Lap 5, before passing Bowe for fifth ahead of the Turn 8 sweeper on Lap 6.
Hansford broke Bowe’s 2020 lap record on Lap 7, with a 1:27.0564s, as he set about maintaining his points advantage over Bowe.
At the front of the field, Johnson went onto seal victory by 0.7823s over Fisher, with Miedecke in third.
Hansford was fourth, extending his series lead by six points, as Almond finished in fifth.
Bowe was sixth, as Holden Torana A9X driver Danny Buzadzic prevailed over McLeod after a late-race dice for seventh.
Tony Karanfilovski (Ford Mustang) and Peter Burnitt (Holden Torana AQX) rounded out the top 10.
Leo Tobin (Ford Mustang), Jason Palmer (BMW E30) and Chris Meulengraaf (Porsche 911 IROC) rounded out the field, as Dave Hender did not finish after finding the wall at Turn 11 in his Ford Falcon XY GT.
Touring Car Masters will take to the track tomorrow for Race 2 at 12:00 local time/12:30 AEDT.