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TCM pole for Johnson Mustang in Newcastle
Friday 10th March, 2023 - 12:50pm
Steven Johnson has taken pole position for the Gulf Western Oils Touring Cars Masters in Newcastle ahead of Andrew Fisher.
After winning two of three races at the previous Symmons Plains outing, Johnson posted a 1:18:6314s in his Ford Mustang and remained unchallenged in a shortened qualifying at the Thrifty Newcastle 500 Supercars event.
The 20-minute session around the street circuit saw Cameron Tilley first to put down a fast time of 1:22:159s in his Valiant Pacer.
Johnson responded with a 1:19:323s before another Mustang – the #88 of Tony Karanfilovski – drew a red flag with 12 minutes remaining after a mechanical issue.
With the clock still ticking down, the green flag was brought out with eight minutes to go, and Fisher in the Jesus Racing Torana posing the strongest threat to Johnson.
With three minutes to go, Fisher produced a 1:18:790s to snatch provisional pole, while Adam Bressington couldn’t muscle in on the top two battle, but did improve to third with a 1:19.334s.
Johnson in the #33 slid through the exit of Turn 1 on a late lap dash but was able to post fast sector times to take back provisional pole with a 1:18:6314s.
Fisher could not improve and finished 0.159s behind Johnson.
John Bowe, who won Race 3 at Symmons Plains, struggled for the early stages of qualifying but ended in fourth with a time of 1:19.693s.
Ryan Hansford’s Holden Torana rounded out the Top Five after a failed attempt to improve on fifth place saw him making use of an escape road as the clock wound down. He finished 1.3s behind pole position with a 1:19:964s lap time.
The Touring Car Masters Trophy Race will begin at 15:15 AEDT, before Repco Supercars Practice 3.
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