June 17, 2016 | General


JASON GOMERSALL has banked the fastest ever Touring Car Masters lap of Hidden Valley Raceway to top practice for the Shannons Thunder in the Valley today.

Gomersall’s 1m12.3800s was 0.003s faster than John Bowe’s 2015 pole time at the 2.87km Darwin circuit and carried on the sensational debut of his stunning Peter Brock-inspired A9X Holden Torana.

The iSeek Racing driver was fastest in practice for the recent Winton round of the championship on the debut of his new Matt Stone Racing-constructed Torana. The ProAm class leader then went on to finish second behind John Bowe in the first two races at the county Victorian circuit in a stunning debut for the first ever Hatchback Torana to race in TCM.

Today he carried that form into the Top End challenge this weekend by setting the fastest time in the second session and the quickest overall time of the day as the field prepares for qualifying tomorrow morning.

Glenn Seton was second overall across today’s pair of 20-minute sessions: his 1m12.9958s lap edging John Bowe’s Holden Torana out by 0.06s.

Bowe last year’s Darwin polesitter and round runner-up was third fastest in the Wilson Security Torana while Steven Johnson ended the day fourth in the WM Waste Management / Synergy Race Engines Falcon GTHO.

Johnson had a challenging start to the weekend when he completed just two laps of the first session thanks to a broken power steering oil line. A repair between sessions saw the No. 17 Falcon jump immediately to fourth place – 1.1s from Gomersall’s fastest time but only 0.5s slower than Seton and Bowe ahead of him.

Johnson won the Darwin round last year with two race victories driving John Bowe’s Ford Mustang.

Jim Richards ended practice fifth in the Shannons Insurance AMC Javelin just 0.02s behind Johnson’s Falcon.

Eddie Abelnica (Falcon XB Coupe) Mark King (Camaro) Andrew Fisher (Falcon GTHO) the impressive Wayne Mercer (Falcon GTHO) and Tony Karanfilovski (Mustang) completed the top 10 in today’s combined practice times.

Abelnica was the fastest car in a straight line today his Darwin’s Cheapest Cars Falcon clocked at an impressive 256km/hr on the circuit’s timing speed trap in practice one.

King battled understeer early in his Camaro before improving in practice two while Fisher survived a late brush with the wall in practice two in his Jesus Life Choices Falcon GTHO.

Outside the top-10 Cameron Tilley was 11th in the Valliant Pacer and Rusty French 12th in his Skye Sands Mustang.

Adam Garwood edged out dad Greg by 0.2s for 13th an 14th while series returnee Bob Middleton traded radio headset for helmet today for the first time in years – returning to the wheel of the No. 95 Whiteline Racing Chevrolet Camaro.

Middleton estimated that he hadn’t driven his car for ‘six or seven years’ but was immediately up to speed in the newly liveried Chevrolet.

Nigel Benson Darren Beale Michael Cannon – on debut in his GTHO Falcon – and Mick Wilson’s Charger completed the field.

Saturday’s TCM schedule for the Shannons Thunder in the Valley has TCM cars qualifying and tackling their first race of the weekend.

John Bowe is the reigning Darwin polesitter and has scored pole on seven of the eight times TCM has visited Hidden Valley Raceway. Jim Richards – in 2009 – is the only other driver to have scored a TCM pole in Darwin.

Qualifying (10:35am local time) and race one (10 laps at 1:45pm local time) will be broadcast live on FOX Sports.


________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Pos Car  Competitor/Team                Driver                   Vehicle              Cap   CL          Fastest...Lap        Gap1    35  iseek Racing                   Jason Gomersall (QLD)    Holden Torana A9X    5000              P2  1:12.3800R 2    30  Thunder Road Racing Team Austr Glenn Seton (QLD)        Ford Mustang Coupe   5000              P2  1:12.9958  0:00.61583    18  Wilson Security/PAYCE          John Bowe (VIC)          Holden Torana SL/R 5 5047              P2  1:13.0525  0:00.67254    17  Synergy Race Engines           Steve Johnson (QLD)      Ford Falcon XY GTHO  5800              P2  1:13.5238  0:01.14385     2  Shannons Insurance             Jim Richards (VIC)       AMC Javelin          5898              P2  1:13.5453  0:01.16536    48  Darwin's Cheapest Cars         Eddie Abelnica (VIC)     Ford Falcon XB Coupe 5800              P2  1:13.9298  0:01.54987    85  Whiteline Racing/King Springs  Mark King (QLD)          Chevrolet Camaro RS  5800              P2  1:14.5377  0:02.15778     9  Jesus Racing                   Andrew Fisher (NSW)      Ford Falcon XY GTHO  5800              P2  1:14.5784  0:02.19849    74  Lyndways Builders              Wayne Mercer (VIC)       Ford Falcon XY GTHO  5800              P2  1:14.9434  0:02.563410   88  TIFS - Warehousing & Distribut Tony Karanfilovski (NSW) Ford Mustang Trans A 5800              P2  1:15.0267  0:02.646711   60  Glennan Transport/ANGLOMOIL Lu Cameron Tilley (NSW)     Valiant Pacer        4390              P2  1:15.4460  0:03.066012    4  Skye Sands                     Rusty French (VIC)       Ford Mustang Fastbac 5800              P2  1:15.6622  0:03.282213   12  Giraffe Civil Contracting      Adam Garwood (TAS)       Holden Torana SL/R 5 5047              P2  1:16.0398  0:03.659814   21  Giraffe Civil Contracting      Greg Garwood (TAS)       Ford Capri Perana    5000              P2  1:16.2616  0:03.881615   95  Whiteline Racing/CAV Power     Bob Middleton (SA)       Chevrolet Camaro SS  5800              P2  1:16.5257  0:04.145716   22  Aussie Muscle Car Run/PRT Fa   Nigel Benson (SA)        Holden Monaro GTS    5800              P2  1:18.1756  0:05.795617   19  Tincone Industrial Services    Darren Beale (QLD)       Holden Monaro GTS    5800              P2  1:19.6315  0:07.251518   65  Cannon Trailers                Michael Cannon (QLD)     Ford Falcon XY GTHO  5800              P2  1:19.8788  0:07.498819   43  Treloar Roses/Mick Wilson Plum Mick Wilson (VIC)        Ccrysler Charger RT  4390              P2  1:21.5053  0:09.1253