Alliance Autosport’s Jason Bright claimed victory in the first-ever TCR Australia race at Sydney Motorsport Park, jumping pole-sitter Tony D’Alberto at the start to claim victory ahead of the Honda driver.
Wall Racing in the Honda Civic Type R, with Bright and Dylan O’Keffee rounding off the top three in qualifying.
Trouble before the race even started for James Moffat as his Renault developed a problem on the grid. Moffat reported smoke coming out of the car with an oil leak and reported issues of the turbo. It meant that he missed out on starting the opening race but was confident of starting race two tomorrow.
At the start, Bright got a great start and took the lead down into Turn 1. HMO’s Will Brown tried around the outside of both Bright and D’Alberto but couldn’t quite make it stick.
Thereafter Bright was able to open up a comfortable two-second lead for much of the race, the experienced racer never being troubled for the lead as D’Alberto spent the rest of the race driving defensively to keep Brown behind.
In the end D’Alberto held on to second, whilst Brown completed the podium in his Hyundai i30 N, despite applying race-long pressure to the Honda ahead.
O’Keefee lost out to Brown at the very start of the race and the Alfa Romeo driver had a relatively quiet run to fourth, ahead of the Audi of Dutchman Rik Breukers in fifth, who got past the second Wall Racing Honda of John Martin for the position late in the race.
Martin took sixth, whilst youngster Aaron Cameron was seventh in the Melbourne Performance Volkswagen, having got past Andre Heimgartner for eighth on lap 13 and then benefitted when Nathan Morcom dropped down the order in the closing laps, the Hyundai racer taking eighth.
The Renault of Chris Pither and Subaru of Heimgartner completed the top ten, the latter two swapping positions in the final laps.
The second Alfa Romeo of Jimmy Vernon finished the race two laps down after going off the track on lap eight with a front-right puncture.
Race two is scheduled to get underway at 13:10 local time on Sunday (05:10 CEST, 04:10 BST).
|1||8||Jason BRIGHT||Taskforce / Alliance Autosport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||16||26:07.0349||1:35.911||2|
|2||50||Tony D’ALBERTO||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R TCR||16||2.1778||1:36.301||1|
|3||30||Will BROWN||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||3.3583||1:36.335||4|
|4||9||Dylan O’KEEFFE||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||16||3.5999||1:36.555||3|
|5||22||Rik BREUKERS||TCR SPA 500 / Melbourne Performance||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||8.2312||1:36.433||8|
|6||24||John MARTIN||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R TCR||16||8.8450||1:36.260||6|
|7||16||Aaron CAMERON||Melbourne Performance||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||16||9.9323||1:36.580||11|
|8||11||Nathan MORCOM||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||9.9533||1:36.368||7|
|9||33||Chris PITHER||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Mégane RS TCR||16||13.6631||1:36.951||13|
|10||777||Andre HEIMGARTNER||Kelly Racing||Subaru WRX STi||16||19.8416||1:36.806||9|
|11||62||Alex RULLO||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra TCR||16||24.3478||1:38.110||14|
|12||37||Chelsea ANGELO||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra TCR||16||35.0864||1:38.208||15|
|13||35||Alexandra WHITLEY||Alliance Autosport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||16||37.9523||1:38.509||17|
|14||6||Molly TAYLOR||Kelly Racing||Subaru WRX STi||16||48.6403||1:38.627||16|
|15||29||Michael ALMOND||Astron Tech / GWR Australia||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||51.8656||1:36.836||5|
|16||7||Jimmy VERNON||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||14||+ 2 LAPS||1:36.897||10|
|NS||34||James MOFFAT||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Mégane RS TCR||–||DNS||N/A||12|