Dylan O’Keeffe and Will Brown share wins at Surfers Paradise
Garry Rogers Motorsport driver Dylan O’Keeffe has extended his TCR Australia eSeries lead thanks to a pole position and race win at the Surfers Paradise Circuit, helping his title aspirations.
Taking victory in the final race of the night, O’Keeffe has now taken a win at every circuit the series has visited so far, backing up his credentials and hopes to take the title in a few rounds time.
A pole for O’Keeffe gave the GRM driver a 10 point boost heading in to the race, stretching his points lead to 21 points before the opening race even began over the Wall Racing car of John Martin.
O’Keeffe was able to convert from pole over Chelsea Angelo and Ben Bargwanna, getting a confortable gap at the end of the first lap with Angelo making mistakes and Bargwanna ending up in the wall.
Championship contender John Martin was caught up in the opening lap fracas, dropping to last place and taking on damage to his Honda Civic as fellow title challenger Bargwanna worked his way back up to this thanks to a handful of crashes for the other competitors.
Angelo was able to eat into O’Keeffe’s lead and apply the pressure to the GRM driver, resulting in a mistake from the leader which let Angelo through to take control of the race as Bargwanna ranged up on O’Keeffe for second.
O’Keeffe continued to drop positions thanks to damage, first to Bargwanna then to reigning TCR Australia champion Will Brown as Angelo streaked away out front, holding a three second lead over Bargwanna with five laps to run.
A three-way fight for the lead saw Angelo lose out to Brown and Bargwanna as #30 HMO Customer Racing driver went from third to first in a matter of corners, taking Bargwanna with him to leave Angelo back in third.
With the final lap underway, Brown had to fend off Bargwanna who was throwing everything at the TCR Australia champion but he’d done enough, leading home Bargwanna and Angelo to finish the race. Zac Souter came home fourth with Jay Hanson in fifth.
O’Keeffe ended up limping home in sixth as Luke King, Brock Timperley, Rowan Shepherd and John Martin rounded out the top ten for Round 7.
The reverse-grid Round 8 race saw Jaden Ransley start from pole, the ARG eSports Cup champion leading the opening tour and holding Martin at bay as everyone got through lap one relatively unscathed.
As Ransley maintained the gap out up front, Martin started to feel the heat from O’Keeffe, having to concede second place to his title rival but still comfortably in third some six seconds up the road from Brown in fourth place.
After a few hard-fought laps for the lead, O’Keeffe finally got past Ransley to take control of the race allowing Martin to make a challenge for second place, eventually getting by with four laps remaining.
It ended up being an easy win for O’Keeffe as the order behind him didn’t change for the last two steps on the podium. Bargwanna, Brown, Timperley, Angelo, King, Shepherd and Hanson all finished in the top ten, finalising the results for Round 8.