Johnson takes opening day of TCM season
STEVEN JOHNSON has continued his winning streak in the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters Series, taking his eighth win from the last ten starts in a near perfect start to the 2023 season at Symmons Plains.
Johnson led from lights to flag to dominate the opening championship race of the season, claiming his 55th TCM race win in style.
His path to victory was aided by issues for long-time rival John Bowe, who’s Holden Torana had an engine issue in the earlier Trophy Race and failed to start the main race in the afternoon.
That saw Johnson on his lonesome out in front, though he had to fend off Andrew fisher’s Jesus Racing Torana in the early stages as the pair raced beneath the lap record.
Johnson ultimately had to break the lap record to claim the win over Fisher, while Hansford battled a straight-line speed issue to finish third.
The defending champ had to fend off a feisty Danny Buzadzic all race in a bid to get the spot on the podium, the Western General driver just missing out on an outright podium finish.
In the earlier TCM Trophy Race, Hansford banked the $500 prize from Clout Travel by virtue of claiming victory, though it was no easy thing.
He had to fend off Andrew Fisher – who finished second in both races today – who set a new lap record in his pursuit of the champ.
Buzadzic was also locked on the back of the leaders in the race to the line in an entertaining three-way Torana scrap for the win.
Marcus Zukanovic started from pole position and confidently led the opening laps of the race in his Action Racing XD Falcon on his racing return from injury.
He slipped to fourth by the finish but will have gained confidence from his strong comeback performance after 11 months on the sidelines.
The TCM field returns for two further races on Sunday as part of AWC Race Tasmania at Symmons Plains.
John Bowe will return to the grid with a replacement engine in a bid to score valuable championship points.
Both races will be broadcast live, ad break free and on demand on Stan Sport.