Photo: TCR Australia

Zac Soutar takes TCR Australia points lead with race two win at The Bend

Tufflift Racing’s Zac Soutar stayed moved into the lead of the TCR Australia Series points standings after taking his second win of the season in race two at Tailem Bend.

Having stalled on the grid at the start of race one, Soutar profited from the reversed-grid rules by finishing 10th which meant he started from the outside of the front-row for the second encounter.

A strong start and a clean nose either side of an early safety car allowed the Audi driver to stretch clear as Wall Racing’s Brad Harris ended up second ahead of HMO Customer Racing’s Josh Buchan.

Ben Bargwanna started from pole position and, along with Soutar, got a decent start off the line while the field jostled for real estate behind.

The safety car was then called for at the start of the second lap, as Tony D’Alberto, Aaron Cameron and Clay Richards made contact at turn two, spinning the latter out of the race.

The stewards deemed it a racing incident and racing resumed following a short interruption.

Having taken the lead at the start, Soutar maintained his advantage at the restart from Bargwanna, who quickly fell down the order, losing out to Harris and subsequently the pair of Hyundais of Buchan and Tom Oliphant. Bargwanna eventually finished seventh.

Behind Soutar, the scrapping was intense and only gave the Audi more of a lead entering the closing stages. Oliphant in particular was on the move as he charged to fourth at the finish, while race one winner Jordan Cox made similar progress to sixth behind Ryan Casha.

Dylan O’Keefe finished eighth in his Lynk & Co, with Aaron Cameron and Iain McDougall rounding out the top 10.