Photo: TCR Australia

Bailey Sweeny romps to Race 2 victory at Bathurst

HMO Customer Racing’s Bailey Sweeny took victory in the second TCR Australia at Bathurst after getting the better of polesitter Michael Caruso early on.

The Hyundai i30 N TCR driver survived a turn one contact with Caruso to run fourth early on but made a series decisive overtakes to make his way back up to the front.

He was dominant thereafter and duly strolled to victory by over 11 seconds from James Moffat and the sister HMO Hyundai of Josh Buchan.

Off the line, Caruso held onto the lead from pole position despite contact with fellow front-row starter Sweeny which sent the Hyundai i30 N TCR into a big slide at the first corner.

That allowed the fast-starting D’Alberto into second place and Caruso’s nearest challenger, with Moffat also making good progress from sixth on the grid to run third.

By the end of a frenetic opening lap, Caruso’s lead ballooned to over a second as D’Alberto got shuffled down to fourth as both Moffat and Sweeny got past.

Moffat got in the slipstream down the Conrod Straight and muscled his way through before the Cutting, but found himself boxed in behind the Wall Racing Honda Civic Type-R, enabling Sweeny to barge down the inside for the chicane.

Sweeny then went on the attack of leader Caruso and swept past at the Cutting to seize the lead on the second lap of 10.

Further back. Moffatt was the cork in the bottle ahead of D’Alberto in third, with Race 1 winner Aaron Cameron fifth before minor contact with Josh Buchan dropped him to seventh.

Sweeny’s advantage in the lead grew to over seven seconds from Moffat, who got past Caruso for second, with O’Keefe right behind in his Schaeffler GRM Peugeot 308TCR.

Buchan was also part of this scrap after diving past D’Alberto and the Hyundai driver then found a way ahead of O’Keefe at the first corner on lap eight after O’Keefe ran slightly wide at the final corner.

Caruso came under increasing pressure from Buchan behind and the Alfa Romeo finally had to yield the final position on the podium in a thrilling finish to the i30 N TCR before the Dipper on the final lap.

Outside the top five, D’Alberto was sixth ahead of Ben Bargwanna and Brad Shiels, with Cameron and Brown completing the top 10 finishers.

The third and final race of the weekend is scheduled to take place tomorrow at 10:10 local time (02:00 CET).