Photo: TCR Australia

​Tony D’Alberto wins shortened opener in Tasmania

Tony D’Alberto saw off the challenge of Josh Buchan to score victory in the opening TCR Australia race of the weekend in Tasmania.

The former champion had beaten the reigning champion to pole in qualifying, but appeared to be too quick away from the line to lead the way when the lights went out at the start.

However, Ryan Casha then clipped the wall in his Peugeot going through turn three, he went straight on into the gravel at the hairpin to bring out the red flag having lost a wheel.

With the Peugeot recovered, the race restarted with D’Alberto having avoided a penalty, but it was Buchan who appeared to get off the line better only for the Honda man to slide back through going into turn two.

D’Alberto retained the lead through the opening lap with fellow Wall Racing driver Brad Harris running third – but Harris would then sail off into the turn four gravel on lap two whilst trying to make a move for second to bring out the safety car.

On the restart, D’Alberto was able to keep himself ahead of Buchan, with Zac Soutar sitting in third having taken advantage of Harris going off into the gravel.

The red flag stoppage would result in the race running to time rather than to the planned 30 laps, meaning just ten racing laps would be possible.

D’Alberto would therefore end up taking the win by just over a second as Buchan didn’t have enough time to try and come back at the leader, with Soutar then chasing the Hyundai home in third.

The Cupra of Clay Richards took fourth spot ahead of Ben Bargwanna, with Jordan Cox rounding out the top six.

The shortened nature of the race resulted in less action than expected through the field although Aaron Cameron and Tom Oliphant would fight hard for seventh, with the Peugeot man coming out on top – helped by Oliphant running across the grass at turn one.

Will Harris and Dylan O’Keeffe rounded out the top ten, with the latter taking race two pole as a result.