Tony D’Alberto claims first 2023 win in Sandown opener
Honda driver Tony D’Alberto claimed his first TCR Australia win of 2023 in the first race of the Sandown opener, holding off Aaron Cameron and Will Brown to victory.
D’Alberto started from fourth place on the grid and made a rocket start to snatch the lead by Turn 1, a lead he kept throughout the race.
Pole sitter Bailey Sweeny (Hyundai) made a slow start and dropped down to ultimately finish fifth.
Audi driver Will Brown started tenth and made strong progress during the race, challenging Peugeot driver Cameron for second place right at the end of the race but had to settle for third.
There was one safety car period as Peugeot 308TCR driver Clay Richard came to a halt on track due to a technical issue.
As the field was released on lap seven, Michael Clemente retired his Cupra due to a technical issue.
Zac Soutar, who battled hard with Melbourne Performance Centre driver Brown earlier in the race, came home in fourth place ahead of Sweeny, while Lachlan Mineeff rounded off the top six.
Ben Bargwanna (Peugeot) and Josh Buchan (Hyundai) finished seventh and eighth.
The second race of the weekend starts at 12:40 local time/04:40 CEST, with Lynk & Co driver Tom Oliphant, who finished tenth, starting from the reversed grid pole position.