BOWE BUILDS LEAD AS JOHNSON WINS
LESS THAN 20 points cover the top three drivers as the Touring Car Masters series readies for the annual trip to Mount Panorama this October thanks to a pair of Steven Johnson victories at Sandown this weekend.
Johnson powered to a Sunday race victory at Sandown after yet another race-long battle with John Bowe.
The Holden Torana ace started from pole and led the field into turn one Johnson retaining close company for the first two laps before he pounced on the third to take the lead.
He retained a narrow margin over Bowe for the remainder of the race as the pair embraced retro round with a 1-2 Johnson-Bowe finish.
The battle for third was the highlight of the race with Eddie Abelnica Adam Bressington and Ryan Hansford battling furiously for much of the race.
Abelnica held third for the first seven laps before a small mistake at turn one on the start of the eighth saw Bressington and Hansford pounce and relegate the Falcon to fifth in the space of just a few corners.
Hansford then attacked the Whiteline Racing Camaro but had no answer for the more powerful Chevrolet until the final few corners of the race Ã¢â‚¬â€œ when the pair came across Bob WiselyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Torana.
With the briefest of hesitation by the Camaro Hansford pounced and in a drag race out of the final corner beat Bressington to third place by 0.001s.
Abelnica finished fifth while Jim Richards continued his record of strong performances at Sandown to storm his way through from 10th place at the start to sixth.
Terry Lawlor completed an excellent return for his Ford Mustang by finishing seventh while Cameron Mason Geoff Fane and Mark King completed the top-10.
Two missing from the front of the field were Tony Karanfilovski and Adam Garwood who were caught up in an accident on the opening lap exiting turn four.
The pair were running side-by-side but contact saw Garwood spun across the field before making light contact with the outside wall Ã¢â‚¬â€œ ultimately retiring to pit lane while Karanfilovski was penalised with a drive-through penalty for his role.
BoweÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s five bonus points for pole position saw him win the round overall despite Johnson winning both races contested Ã¢â‚¬â€œ race two on Saturday abandoned after one lap following Jason GomersallÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hefty impact at turn six.
Bowe has broken the deadlock with Adam Bressington to take a clear championship lead heading to Bathurst though just 13 points split the pair heading to the CamaroÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best circuit.
Johnson now sits just 18 points from Bowe in third place while Hansford remains fourth but less than sixty points from the top of the standings.
Bowe (ProMaster) Hansford (ProAm) and Graham Alexander (ProSports) won their respective classes overall this weekend.
RACE 3 RESULTS
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Pos Car Competitor/Team Driver Vehicle Cap CL Laps Race.Time Fastest...Lap1 17 WM Waste/Illusion Gas Log Fire Steve Johnson (Qld) Ford Mustang Fastbac 5800 10 12:41.8430 8 1:15.6827R2 18 Wilson Security/PAYCE John Bowe (Vic) Holden Torana SL R 5047 10 12:42.4549 7 1:16.2236 3 6 Multispares Racing Ryan Hansford (Qld) Holden Torana SL R 10 12:51.8803 6 1:16.2870 4 95 Whiteline Racing/Fabre Austral Adam Bressington (NSW) Chevrolet Camaro SS 5800 10 12:51.8815 3 1:16.3207 5 48 Melbournes Cheapest Cars Eddie Abelnica (Vic) Ford Falcon XB Coupe 5800 10 12:52.1107 9 1:16.7181 6 2 Shannons Insurance Jim Richards (Vic) Ford Falcon Sprint 5898 10 13:09.9338 7 1:17.4240 7 8 Lady Luck Racing Terry Lawlor (NSW) Ford Mustang Coupe 5800 10 13:14.0287 7 1:18.0597 8 3 Hercules Engines/Lucky's Hotel Cameron Mason (NSW) Ford Mustang Fastbac 10 13:14.5463 8 1:18.0747 9 72 GFR Industries Geoff Fane (Qld) Chevrolet Camaro SS 10 13:22.2607 8 1:18.8422 10 85 Whiteline Racing/King Springs Mark King (Qld) Holden Monaro GTS Co 5800 10 13:36.5755 9 1:19.5574 11 4 Skye Sands Rusty French (Vic) Ford Mustang Fastbac 5800 10 13:37.9303 10 1:19.6739 12 57 Graham Alexander Graham Alexander (Vic) Holden HT Monaro GTS 10 13:41.6602 7 1:21.0441 13 88 TIFS Warehousing & Distributio Tony Karanfilovski (NSW) Ford Mustang Trans A 5800 10 13:44.0883 9 1:17.3876 14 77 Red Rock Winery/Werks Garage Rohan Little (Vic) Porsche IROC 9 12:47.2551 8 1:21.7585 15 7 Wisely Motorsport Bob Wisely (Qld) Holden Torana SL R 9 12:51.9718 7 1:21.2897 16 19 Tincone Industrial Services Darren Beale (Qld) Holden Monaro GTS Co 5800 9 13:30.9142 2 1:26.9885 DNF 12 Giraffe Civil Contracting Adam Garwood (Tas) Holden Torana SL R 1 1:35.0649 DNF 74 Lyndways Builders Wayne Mercer (Vic) Ford Falcon XY GTHO 5800