March 3, 2016 | General


GLENN SETON has edged out John Bowe to top the practice times for the opening round of the 2016 Touring Car Masters series at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.

Seton saved his best to last in the second of two practice sessions on Thursday his 1m29.58s lap putting him 0.3s faster than defending champion John Bowe at the end of a competitive day’s running despite scorching hot conditions.

With the ambient temperature hovering close to 35 degrees and the track temperature much warmer than that two trouble-free practice sessions were completed on the demanding circuit without a red flag interruption.  

Bowe and Seton were the only drivers to drop into the 1m29s today with the quickest time – despite the heat – only 0.1s off the existing qualifying lap record at the 3.2km parklands circuit.

Eddie Abelnica was third fastest in his XB Falcon Coupe and Jim Richards fourth in the Shannons Insurance AMC Javelin.

A trouble-free day for Steven Johnson saw him complete 20 laps in the Ford Falcon GTHO ‘Super Falcon’ replica he will race this weekend ending the day fifth fastest with a 1m30.85s lap.

The strong top-five performance from Johnson came despite the car having not turned a wheel prior to the event after a comprehensive rebuild and a last minute deal to actually compete this weekend that was only finalised last Sunday.

Five different models of classic Muscle Car filled the top five spots in practice with more variety in the second half of the top-10.

Jesus Racing’s Andrew Fisher ended the day sixth and Greg Ritter seventh in the Chevrolet Monza coupe he will race this year.

Ritter ended just 0.1s faster than Andrew Miedecke’s Lubrimaxx / Whiteline Racing Camaro with the five-time Clipsal 500 TCM race winner ultimately edging out his teammate Mark King for ninth and 10th positions.

ProAm rivals Tony Karanfilovski (Mustang) and Cameron Tilley (Pacer) were 11th and 12th respectively Tilley’s second session cut short when he pitted early with smoke filling the cabin of his incredibly popular Valliant.

The cause of the smoke is currently unknown however the team did not return to the circuit after completing just two laps in practice two.

Paul Freestone Wayne Mercer and teenager Adam Garwood completed the top fifteen cars today.

Action from the Touring Car Masters continues tomorrow with qualifying scheduled for 9:20am local time and the first of three races in the Rare Spares Adelaide Trophy set for 4:30pm over 12 laps.

Qualifying is set to be a tight affair on Friday morning with 1.2 seconds covering the top 11 cars in the opening practice session. John Bowe has scored the last six straight TCM pole positions at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide – every year since 2010.

Friday’s action will be shown live on FOX Sports Motorsport while Saturday’s race (two of three) will also be shown on Network Ten.