Photo: TCR Australia

Aaron Cameron takes reversed-grid win at Symmons Plains

Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Aaron Cameron came from third on the reversed grid to win TCR Australia Race 2 at Symmons Plains Raceway.

The top 10 finishers from Race 1 were reversed to set the grid for the first race of Sunday, with Michael Clemente and Lachlan Mineeff filling the front row in first-generation Audi RS 3 LMS TCRs.

A poor start from Clemente dropped him down the order straight away while Mineeff took the lead ahead of Cameron. The pair quickly pulled away from the rest of the field, and Mineeff held a small gap through the first half of what would end up being a 22-lap race.

But Cameron started setting fastest laps approaching mid-distance and tried the inside of the hairpin – which was covered in dust after fluid was dropped there by a car in a previous session – on lap 11.

He briefly got ahead, but Mineeff was back in the lead moments later with a cutback. He left the door open going into the final two corners but Cameron did not take up the opportunity to pass, instead going down the inside at the hairpin again on the next lap as Mineeff went wide.

They then ran side-by-side down the next straight all the way down to the penultimate corner, where Cameron had the inside line and so was able to assume the lead. The race belonged to Cameron thereon, building a lead of three seconds before the chequered flag.

Mineeff was still pleased to take his first podium in second place, and Jordan Cox made it two GRM Peugeot 308 TCRs on the podium in third.

After a driveshaft issue meant he missed Race 1, Will Brown had done a great job in the second-generation Audi RS3 to climb from 12th on the grid to third in under eight laps and set the fastest lap before the same reliability problem struck again and put him out of the race.

Zac Soutar started last after suffering the same fate as Brown on Saturday, but once again the new Audi proved unreliable for him too and he exited proceedings a few laps before Brown in Race 2.

Aside from Cox, the chief beneficiary from Brown’s retirement was Tom Oliphant who finished fourth in a Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR on just his second series start.

Clemente resisted lap after lap of pressure from Race 1 winner and Race 3 poleman Bailey Sweeney to end the race in fifth, and reigning champion Tony D’Alberto was seventh.

Ian McDougall claimed his best result in eighth and Josh Buchan was ninth, while Kody Garland had early drama that meant he finished a distant tenth. He gained a place on the penultimate lap as Ben Bargwanna stopped on track with a car issue.