Will Brown extends championship lead with sixth TCR Australia victory
Will Brown has gone one step closer to taking out the inaugural TCR Australia series after putting in a clinical drive to take the closing race of the round at Winton Motor Raceway.
The championship leader was able to convert pole to victory in his HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR, dominating proceedings with the fastest lap as well as a healthy ten second lead at the race’s end.
Before the race even started it was threated to be delayed when James Moffat had a second drama on the formation lap in as many days, spinning his Renault Megane RS TCR as he tried to warm the tyres on what has been the toughest weekend of the year for the Garry Rogers Motorsport team.
As the race began, Brown was able to retain the lead from pole at the race start as Jason Bright suffered a clutch issue in the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, leaving the Matt Stone Racing car stranded on the grid as the following pack took evasive action, fortunately all getting past.
Though Brown held the lead on the opening lap, it wasn’t without some pressure from the Melbourne Performance Centre Golf GTI TCR of Aaron Cameron behind, dragging Russell Ingall’s MPC Audi RS 3 TCR up to third after starting fifth.
Tony D’Alberto had his hands full on the opening lap, having to keep his Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR ahead of Jordan Cox, looking to move the Garry Rogers Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR up to fourth place.
An opportunistic pass attempt from Cox at Turn 1 on lap two saw the Alfa Romeo spin off the road, going through the grass and dropping well down the order. Cox had to pit later on due to overheating thanks to the grass which was lodged in the radiator.
After running in a strong fifth place, series debutante Liam McAdam went to 17th in the order after spinning and tagging the wall at the exit of the last corner on lap six, luckily not sustaining any terminal damage to the MPC Audi RS 3 TCR and rejoining the track.
Well out in front with a gap of seven seconds on only the tenth lap, Brown had control over the race, setting the fastest lap of the weekend in the progress with a 1:24.3718 on lap five to put a healthy margin over Cameron.
Brown’s HMO Customer Racing team-mate Nathan Morcom was able to get up to fourth with a tough pass up the inside of D’Alberto at Turn 1 on lap 13, making the move stick after dropping two wheels off the road.
As the race settled at the front, Brown extended his race lead and with it the championship lead, finishing over ten seconds ahead of Cameron as Ingall yet again featured on the podium. Morcom held fourth over D’Alberto, taking another top five result for both teams this year.
John Martin again followed his team-mate home in the #24 Wall Racing Honda while Andre Heimgartner was able to finish the race in his Kelly Racing Holden Astra TCR ahead of the hard-charging Dylan O’Keeffe, recovering to eighth in the Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo after a tricky race two.
Brown now enjoys a hefty and healthy championship lead as the series next moves to Sandown Raceway for the penultimate round of the championship on September 20-22.