JOHNSON FASTEST IN TOURING CAR MASTERS DEBUT
STEVEN JOHNSON made the best of damp conditions at Symmons Plains today topping ENZED Touring Car Masters practice on his debut in the category.
Assuming the controls of Ã¢â‚¬ËœMustang SallyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ in John BoweÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s absence Johnson jumped to the top of the timesheets as the track conditions improved at the end of practice 2. The ex-V8 Supercar driver was clear by just under 8 tenths of a second around the 2.4 kilometre course.
Johnson saved his best lap until last as he used his final flyer to top the times on a drying circuit after a morning of persistent rain.
JohnsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 1m03.31s lap was a full five seconds slower than the TCM Symmons Plains lap record showing the amount of water on the circuit this morning.
Hard-charging local Greg Crick was the fastest of the four Tasmanians in the field his weekend having set a 1m04 flat in his final effort in practice two. The Mopar Performance Charger was scored in 2nd overall.
Rounding out the top three was Tony Karanfilovski in his Trans Am Mustang Ã¢â‚¬â€œ just over a second shy of JohnsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s benchmark.
Championship-leader Andrew Miedecke ended up 4th in the afternoon session after electing to skip the tricky track conditions in opening practice.
Cameron Tilley was 5th quickest overall in his GlennanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Transport Valiant Pacer having also occupied a position inside the top-10 during the morningÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wet opening practice.
Bill Pye punched in 23 laps over both sessions in his Camaro knocking on the door of a top-5 position with a 1m06.8 in practice two Ã¢â‚¬â€œ over 6 seconds quicker than his personal best in the damp morning session.Ã‚Â
Practice 1 pace-setter Eddie Abelnica was not seen during the later session however his practice one benchmark of 1m07.24 was good for 7th place overall.Ã‚Â
After a race to get the Jesus Racing Falcon ready for trek south Andrew Fisher clocked in 8th overall after a 1m07.6 on his 11th and final lap of the day.
Gavin Bullas mastered the art of opposite lock in his Provide Racing Australia-built Ford Mustang the Victorian skating his way to the 9th fastest time overall; just over 4 seconds shy JohnsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pace-setting effort.
Jason Gomersall was the best of the Holdens in Friday practice ending up 10th in his iSeek Racing Torana having also failed to record a lap in opening practice due to the wet conditions.
Don Dimitriadis successfully shook down Glenn SetonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Thunder Road Racing Mustang Coupe after completing 20 laps across the two sessions. Glenn is set to arrive in Tasmania later tonight and will be back behind the wheel for qualifying tomorrow morning.
The two-time ATCC champion was in Melbourne today helping 16-year-old son Aaron come to grips with a Porsche GT3 car ahead of his debut in the GT3 Cup Challenge at this weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Shannons Nationals round.
Jim Richards failed to record a timed lap in either session but is expected to feature in his AMC Javelin in qualifying and both races tomorrow despite not having raced at Symmons Plains since the late 1990s.
The Shannons Tasmania Tourist Trophy continues tomorrow with qualifying scheduled for 9.30am local time ahead of two races later in the day Ã¢â‚¬â€œ check out www.touringcarmasters.com.au for more info and a full round schedule.
The round will be completed with race three on Sunday morning followed by a non-championship race Sunday evening following the completion of the V8 Supercars Tyrepower Tasmania Challenge this weekend.
A reminder that you can catch every session of the ENZED Touring Car Masters live this weekend on FOX Sports. Ã‚Â