December 3, 2022 | General

Johnson takes Race 2, Hansford now unassailable with one to go

Fourth place in the second race of the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters’ final round has given Ryan Hansford an unassailable points lead and makes the Peters Motorsport-prepared Multispares Holden Torana A9X driver champion-elect this year. 

As per race one on Friday at the VALO Adelaide 500, the third outing was the domain of Steve Johnson in the Russell Hancock-owned Ford Mustang who led all the way from the outset to the finish.

Second place 3.2 seconds in arrears, was Michael Almond in the Whiteline Racing Chev Camaro while John Bowe (Rare Spares Torana) snatched third on the final lap.

The hard luck story went to Almond’s Camaro teammate George Miedecke. After side-by-side contact with Andrew Fisher (Jesus Racing Torana) in the first chicane on the opening lap, Miedecke was second and close to the leader when the tailshaft let go out of turn eleven. He was able to coast to the line in sixth position.

Small consolation was a new lap record for the Whiteline driver, beating Johnson’s Race 1 benchmark in his pursuit of the Mustang.

Hansford held third place to just after the safety car was out. That was due to Tony Karanfilovski whose Mustang broke the crank mandrel at turn nine and lost all belt drives. The race was resumed quickly, and Almond passed Hansford who erred slightly on the final lap and Bowe slipped through.

Still, the points margin was enough to ensure that Hansford can no longer be overhauled for the series lead in tomorrow’s final race.

Fifth position went to Fisher after several laps of tyre rub from the first lap incident while Danny Buzadzic (Western Body Works Torana) missed sixth by 0.017 seconds. Just behind him was Gerard McLeod (Holden Commodore) with a gap to Ben Dunn who missed a start in race two when the Chev Monza refused to start.

Eleventh place went to Leo Tobin (Mustang) ahead of Dave Hender (Ford Falcon XY GTHO) whom he sparred with much of the race. Then followed Jason Palmer (BMW E30) and Chris Meulengraaf (Porsche 911). Peter Burnitt was another retirement, his Torana with a major engine issue.

Johnson’s victory meant he also took out the ProMasters class while ProAm honours went to Fisher. In ProSport it was Hender while Palmer headed the Invitation class.