John Martin fights to race three victory at The Bend

John Martin fights to race three victory at The Bend

John Martin
Photo: TCR Australia / Daniel Kalisz

Honda’s John Martin fought his way to victory in race three of the TCR Australia series at The Bend Motorsport Park, becoming the fifth different winner as he also claimed his first podium result.

From fourth on the grid, Martin jumped into third at the start, before passing pole-sitter Will Brown further around the lap and starting to put pressure on early race leader Garth Tander.

Martin then followed Tander for the first half of the race, before pouncing on the leading Audi on lap seven and taking the lead which he would hold for the rest of the race, which calmed down in comparison to the first race of the day.

Tander held on to take second, giving the experienced former Supercars driver his third podium finish from three races at The Bend, whilst James Moffat completed the podium in his Renault, after passing the Hyundai ahead for the final podium place on lap four.

Series newcomer Jordan Cox was again an impressive fourth in the second Wall Racing Honda, having passed Brown on lap four as well when the series leader made another mistake further around the lap.

Brown took fifth, but in doing so largely preserved his championship advantage, which stands at a huge 127 points over Moffat, who has now moved into second just two points ahead of Dylan O’Keeffe, who had a weekend of poor form at The Bend.

Russell Ingall was sixth, ensuring the experienced racer took a trio of top tens on his début in TCR Australia, ahead of Wall Racing’s Tony D’Alberto in seventh.

HMO’s Nathan Morcom was eighth, unable to progress from his grid position, whilst Jason Bright was the leading Volkswagen driver in ninth and Leanne Tander completed the top ten in her Audi.

O’Keeffe – twice a winner last time out – struggled for pace in his Alfa Romeo this weekend, ending up 11th and dropping a place in the championship battle.

After numerous crashes in race two, several drivers were unable to take the start in race three: Andre Heimgartner again failed to start in his Subaru, joined by Molly Taylor.

Damage in race two also ruled out Jimmy Vernon and Chris Pither from race three, whilst Alexandra Whitley took the start but only managed two laps due to the recurring technical issues which also blighted her race two.

The next TCR Australia event is at Queensland Raceway on 3 – 4 August.

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 24 John MARTIN Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR 14 27:41.8519 1:57.687 4
2 4 Garth TANDER Melbourne Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 14 2.772 1:57.739 2
3 34 James MOFFAT Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR 14 3.908 1:57.595 3
4 38 Jordan COX Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR 14 4.668 1:57.889 5
5 30 Will BROWN HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 11.705 1:57.996 1
6 100 Russell INGALL Melbourne Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 14 12.398 1:58.416 6
7 50 Tony D’ALBERTO Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR 14 13.452 1:57.459 9
8 11 Nathan MORCOM HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 13.811 1:57.697 7
9 8 Jason BRIGHT Taskforce / Alliance Autosport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 16.684 1:58.046 11
10 3 Leanne TANDER Melbourne Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 14 22.351 1:58.618 8
11 9 Dylan O’KEEFFE Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 14 22.644 1:57.500 10
12 62 Alex RULLO Kelly Racing Holden Astra TCR 14 31.986 1:59.057 16
13 16 Aaron CAMERON Melbourne Performance Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 40.009 1:58.945 13
R 37 Chelsea ANGELO Kelly Racing Holden Astra TCR 6 DNF 1:59.529 12
R 35 Alexandra WHITLEY Alliance Autosport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 2 DNF 2:14.242 18
NS 33 Chris PITHER Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR DNS N/A 14
NS 7 Jimmy VERNON Garry Rogers Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR DNS N/A 15
NS 6 Molly TAYLOR Kelly Racing Subaru WRX STi DNS N/A 17
NS 777 Andre HEIMGARTNER Kelly Racing Subaru WRX STi DNS N/A 19
TCR Australia Points standings after Round 9
Graphic: TouringCars.Net