Garth Tander claims victory in dramatic race one at The Bend

Garth Tander claims victory in dramatic race one at The Bend

Garth Tander
Photo: TCR Australia / Daniel Kalisz

Garth Tander claimed the first victory for Audi in the TCR Australia series in race one at The Bend Motorsport Park, in a race which saw damp conditions creating exciting racing.

On a damp circuit the start of the race proved to be particularly exciting as pole-sitter James Moffat lost out to Tony D’Alberto in the first sequence of turns, as drivers searched for the grip levels in tricky conditions.

D’Alberto then went off the circuit half-way around the first lap, whilst a few corners later series newcomer Jordan Cox made contact with Moffat’s Renault, spinning the Garry Rogers Motorsport driver out and earning him a ten-second penalty for the incident.

That gave Garth Tander the opportunity to pass Cox for the lead, just before the safety car was called to allow D’Alberto’s Honda to be moved to safety.

Racing resumed on lap four, with Tander leading for the next two laps until the former Supercars racer had a huge half-spin which dropped him to fourth and handed the lead to rookie Cox.

A fierce four-way battle for the lead then followed between Cox, Will Brown, John Martin and Tander, with the latter re-taking third from Brown on lap eighth.

Martin took the lead from Cox at the start of lap 11, with Tander following past three corners later into second. The Audi driver then took the lead at turn 16 and pulled clear for a first TCR win.

Will Brown claimed second in his Hyundai after late-race overheating issues for Martin’s Honda saw him drop back, whilst Aaron Cameron completed the podium, both finishing behind Cox’s Honda on the road but gaining a place after his penalty was applied.

However, Cameron was later penalised for having been deemed to have overtaken Alex Rullo behind the safety car, earning him a 28-second penalty and dropping the Volkswagen driver to 12th in the classification.

Nathan Morcom brought his Hyundai home in fifth, ahead of Chris Pither’s GRM Renault in sixth.

Cox was ultimately classified in seventh after his penalty, initially ahead of D’Alberto’s Honda in eighth after he had been assisted back on to the circuit.

D’Alberto, like Cameron, was also given a post-race penalty, the Honda driver having ten seconds added to his race time for contact with Jimmy Vernon and dropping him to 13th.

Moffat and Alex Rullo’s battle-scarred Holden Astra completed the top ten, the latter benefitting from a post-race five-second penalty for Leanne Tander for a starting infringement.

Championship challenger Dylan O’Keeffe retired to the pits after nine laps with steam emanating from the bonnet of his Alfa Romeo.

Races two and three take place on Sunday at 12:45 and 13:50 local time (04:15 and 05:50 BST, 05:15 and 06:50 CEST).

Revised race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 4 Garth TANDER Melbourne Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 12 27:52.7479 1:58.663 4
2 30 Will BROWN HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 12 1.001 1:58.954 16
3 24 John MARTIN Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR 12 7.430 1:58.483 7
4 11 Nathan MORCOM HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 12 8.825 1:59.160 6
5 33 Chris PITHER Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR 12 9.462 1:58.697 13
6 38 Jordan COX Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR 12 10.192 1:58.576 8
7 34 James MOFFAT Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR 12 22.862 2:00.006 1
8 62 Alex RULLO Kelly Racing Holden Astra TCR 12 24.469 1:59.215 10
9 100 Russell INGALL Melbourne Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 12 28.042 1:59.752 12
10 35 Alexandra WHITLEY Alliance Autosport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 12 28.903 2:00.498 19
11 3 Leanne TANDER Melbourne Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 12 29.246 1:59.315 14
12 16 Aaron CAMERON Melbourne Performance Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 12 29.384 1:58.324 5
13 50 Tony D’ALBERTO Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR 12 31.081 1:58.886 2
14 7 Jimmy VERNON Garry Rogers Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 12 31.818 1:59.150 11
15 6 Molly TAYLOR Kelly Racing Subaru WRX STi 12 1:20.412 2:06.376 18
R 8 Jason BRIGHT Taskforce / Alliance Autosport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 11 DNF 1:59.204 9
R 9 Dylan O’KEEFFE Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 9 DNF 1:58.245 3
R 777 Andre HEIMGARTNER Kelly Racing Subaru WRX STi 8 DNF 2:00.233 15
R 37 Chelsea ANGELO Kelly Racing Holden Astra TCR 5 DNF 2:13.745 17