Photo: TCR Australia

Bailey Sweeny establishes early points lead with second Symmons Plains win

HMO Customer Racing’s Bailey Sweeny leaves the opening TCR Australia round as championship leader after winning two races out of three.

Sweeny’s points haul from the first two races of the weekend at Symmons Plains Raceway put him on pole position for Race 3, but he could not make the most of it as he was outgunned off the line by Tony D’Alberto and then passed by Jordan Cox.

Reigning champion D’Alberto pulled away up front until a gear-changing issue brought him back into the clutches of those behind.

Sweeny had reclaimed second from Cox after contact between the two, then nibbled slightly into D’Alberto’s lead but did not look like he was going to challenge him for the win until the leader struck trouble.

The issue dropped D’Alberto several seconds behind Sweeney, but so controlling had the first half of the race been for him that he still finished second by a big margin over Cox.

Aaron Cameron put pressure on Cox at times, having emerged triumphant from a battle with Tom Oliphant for fourth place.

Sweeny leads the championship by 14 points over D’Alberto, with Race 2 winner Cameron a further four points behind. At the bottom of the standings are qualifying pacesetter William Brown and Zac Soutar, who both faced driveshaft issues through the weekend in their new Audi RS 3 LMS TCR IIs and had to miss the first and third races.