Photo: TCR Australia

Hanson wins, Caruso hit by heartbreak in 50th TCR Australia race

Jay Hanson was the winner of TCR Australia’s 50th race, as engine issues struck long-time leader Michael Caruso.

Penalties from the first race of the weekend shook up the reversed grid for race two, with Josh Buchan docked 30 seconds for an opening lap incident with Caruso, dropping him from 10th to 14th, while Aaron Cameron was penalised 15s for spinning Bailey Sweeney and that took him from fourth to 13th in the race results.

Consequently, Caruso was promoted to 10th and with the top 10 reversed to form race two’s grid he ended up on pole. Lachlan Mineeff would have joined him on the front row, but a transponder issue meant he had to start from the pits.

That left Caruso alone at the top end of the grid, and it was Michael Clemente who came through to challenge Caruso by the opening corner. He then ran wide onto the grass though, leaving Will Brown as the closest driver to Caruso while several others got into strife including title contender Dylan O’Keeffe who had an off and punctured his radiator so had to pit.

As Caruso led the way up front, Hanson made progress by passing Jordan Cox and Luke King to get into a podium position and he then started chasing down Brown. Third became second when Caruso’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce slowed with an expiring engine a few laps from the end, and Hanson pursued and passed Brown for his fourth win of the year by 1.7731 seconds.

Brown and King completed the podium behind Hanson, and Cox held on to fourth ahead of points leader Tony D’Alberto, Zac Soutar, James Moffat and Michael Clemente.

Caruso and O’Keeffe were the race’s only two retirements, and Mineeff could only recover to 13th place.

Race three takes place at 16:10 local time (07:10 BST).