Johnson goes back-to-back in TCM at Newcastle 500


Three-time TCM title winner Steven Johnson stormed to victory in Race 2 for the Touring Car Masters at the Newcastle 500. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

Steven Johnson stormed to a second consecutive victory in Race 2 for the Gulf Western Oils Touring Car Masters at the Thrifty Newcastle 500.

In his search of a historic fourth-round victory in succession, Johnson (Ford Mustang) backed up his pole position and Race 1 win with a lights-to-flag victory in the 11-lap encounter, finishing ahead of Ryan Hansford (Holden Torana A9X) who charged four spots through the field to finish second, with Adam Bressington (Chevrolet Camaro SS) rounding out the podium.

Johnson led the way from Andrew Fisher (Holden Torana A9X), Bressington, Trophy Race winner Marcus Zukanovic (Ford Falcon XD), Cameron Tilley (Valiant Pacer), Hansford, John Bowe (Holden Torana SL/R 5000), Peter Burnitt (Holden Torana A9X), John Adams (Ford Falcon XY GT), Geoff Fane (Chevrolet Camaro RS), Tony Karanfilvoski (Ford Mustang Trans Am) and Ian Price (Ford Escort MK II).

At the drop of the green flag, the field went two-by-two through Turn 1 as they jostled for position on before Fisher ran wide at Turn 2, becoming under threat from Bressington. Fisher was able to hold onto position as Hansford moved up two spots on the opening lap to take fourth.

Up front, Johnson stretched his lead to a 4s advantage as Bressington moved past Fisher on the run to Turn 2 on Lap 3, with the latter immediately becoming under threat from Hansford, who was 0.714s off the rear bumper of the Jesus Racing entry on that lap.

Meanwhile, Johnson steadily maintained the gap over the next couple of laps, with the margin 3.5s to Bressington at Lap 6.

Hansford set what would be the fastest lap of the race with a 1:18.7684s on Lap 6, as  he continued to attack the rear bumper of Fisher’s entry, before passing him the following lap to move into third.

His late-race pace continued, as he then started applying pressure to Bressington, passing him for second after getting a good run after Turn 2 on Lap 9.

That encounter allowed Johnson breathing room up front, taking the chequered flag a second clear of Hansford, with Bressington a further 1.2s adrift.

Fisher was fourth from Zukanovic, with Tilley sixth, as Bowe, Fane, Burnitt and Adams rounded out the top 10.

Race 3 for Touring Car Masters will take place tomorrow at 13:15 local time/AEDT.

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]