2023-06-28 10:00:00

Fans of the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters Series have been treated to quite the show so far in 2023, with the category featuring as part of both the Shannons SpeedSeries and Repco Supercars Championship.

Reaching its halfway point in a blink of an eye, the series has had plenty of storylines and thrilling on-track action that is certain to continue into the second half of the season.

Starting in February, Steve Johnson picked up where he left off in 2022 by dominating the first race of the season at AWC Race Tasmania.

A second win in race two all but ensured the round win for the current series leader, but the story was John Bowe picking up a race three win and his first in his ‘Ciao for now’ farewell tour.

Johnson then made it back-to-back pole positions at the Thrifty Newcastle 500 ahead of Jesus Racing’s Andrew Fisher, converting the position into a clean sweep of race wins on the streets of Newcastle.

Marcus Zukanovic was the only other competitor to take honours across the weekend with a victory in the Trophy race earlier in the weekend, while Ryan Hansford was also impressive with multiple podium finishes across the three competitive races.

The series then made the trip to Winton Motor Raceway in June, where a tight and twisty circuit provided fans with four exciting encounters.

Johnson made it three from three pole positions after a tough qualifying session ahead of Bowe – in what is could be his final time at the Victorian circuit.

An issue to Bowe’s Holden Torana A9X in the Trophy Race meant he was scratched from race one on Saturday, all the while Fisher claimed honours in the Trophy Race before Johnson took victory in races one and two.

Bowe was then able to claim a memorable victory in the final race of the weekend after an exciting battle with Johnson in the dying stages of the race – crossing the line six tenths of a second ahead of the series leader to round out a rollercoaster of a weekend.

Johnson will head to Adelaide with a comfortable lead in the standings ahead of the consistent Cameron Tilley, while Hansford and Fisher sit not far behind and share the same amount of points in third and fourth respectively.

The next round of the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters will take place at The Bend Motorsport Park on 18-20 August.

Standings – Top 10

Steven Johnson – 532 points
Cameron Tilley – 405
Ryan Hansford – 398
Andrew Fisher – 398
Marcus Zukanovic – 372
John Bowe – 356
Danny Buzadzic – 340
Peter Burnitt – 252
Geoff Fane – 165
Adam Garwood – 151

Rounds so far

Round 1 – AWC Race Tasmania
Qualifying: Steven Johnson
Trophy Race: Ryan Hansford
Race 1: Steven Johnson
Race 2: Steven Johnson
Race 3: John Bowe
Round winner: Steven Johnson

Round 2 – Thrifty Newcastle 500

Qualifying: Steven Johnson
Trophy Race: Marcus Zukanovic
Race 1: Steven Johnson
Race 2: Steven Johnson
Race 3: Steven Johnson
Round winner: Steven Johnson

Round 3 – Hi-Tec Oils Race Winton

Qualifying: Steven Johnson
Trophy Race: Andrew Fisher
Race 1: Steven Johnson
Race 2: Steven Johnson
Race 3: John Bowe
Round winner: Steven Johnson

Upcoming rounds

Round 4 – The Bend Motorsport Park 18-20 August
Round 5 – Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit 10-12 November
Round 6 – Adelaide Street Circuit 23-26 November

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