Ashely Seward Motorsport’s Dylan O’Keeffe scored a lights to flag TR Australia victory in race two at Queensland Raceway, managing his advantage to lead Melbourne Performance Centre drivers Russell Ingall and Aaron Cameron by less than two seconds at the line.
After a strong performance in the Saturday race, the 21 year old then inherited the pole position for race two after debutant Jean-Karl Vernay was forced to withdraw from Sunday’s action due to illness.
Away from the line and the Alfa Romeo driver was able to hold his lead off the line, as Wall Racing’s Tony D’Alberto jumped Ingall for second.
Further down the order, championship contenders Wall Racing driver John Martin and HMO Customer Racing Will Brown made progress in the opening laps. The duo who are locked in a title fight with O’Keeffe had difficult races on Saturday, leaving them on the fringes of the top 15 for the start of race two.
By the mid-point of the race, O’Keeffe had stretched his advantage to lead by nearly three seconds, as D’Alberto came under pressure from Ingall and a hard charging Cameron who was looking to make a move on his teammate.
On lap 12 D’Alberto ran wide at the final corner, allowing Ingall to get alongside and pass through the opening turns.
One lap later, Cameron would make a late dive on D’Alberto at turn four to secure a podium slot.
Despite then making the most of the clear air to be the fastest car on track Ingall was unable to reel in O’Keeffe with laps to spare, reducing the leaders advantage by over 2.3 seconds.
O’Keeffe scored his third win of the season, and in controlling fashion, further bolstering his title assault.
Melbourne Performance Centre drivers came home second and third, Ingall leading Cameron, with D’Alberto a six seconds adrift from the podium.
Garry Rogers Motorsport Jordan Cox secured another strong points finish in fifth, but was only two tenths ahead of HMO Customer Racing’s Nathan Morcom who struggled with brake temperatures throughout the race.
Martin took the checkered flag in seventh, and was unable to climb further up the order after battling with the second Garry Rogers Motorsport car of James Moffat in eighth, and Leanne Tander who finished ninth for Melbourne Performance Centre.
Brown rounded out the top ten, but the championship leading Hyundai driver has had his lead over O’Keeffe reduced significantly.
|1||9||Dylan O’KEEFFE||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||21||26:36.9228||1:15.383||1|
|2||100||Russell INGALL||Melbourne Performance||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||21||0.773||1:15.043||2|
|3||16||Aaron CAMERON||Melbourne Performance||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||21||1.480||1:15.098||5|
|4||50||Tony D’ALBERTO||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R TCR||21||7.482||1:15.589||3|
|5||38||Jordan COX||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||21||8.189||1:15.643||4|
|6||11||Nathan MORCOM||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||21||8.383||1:15.518||6|
|7||24||John MARTIN||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R TCR||21||10.546||1:15.671||14|
|8||34||James MOFFAT||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Mégane RS TCR||21||10.878||1:15.466||8|
|9||3||Leanne TANDER||Melbourne Performance||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||21||11.441||1:15.659||11|
|10||30||Will BROWN||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||21||11.800||1:15.310||15|
|11||62||Alex RULLO||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra TCR||21||15.430||1:15.606||7|
|12||38||Jordan MICHELS||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R TCR||21||15.991||1:15.664||10|
|13||8||Jason BRIGHT||Taskforce / Alliance Autosport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||21||16.435||1:15.887||12|
|14||4||Aaron SETON||Melbourne Performance||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||21||42.058||1:15.895||17|
|15||6||Molly TAYLOR||Kelly Racing||Subaru WRX STi||21||51.259||1:16.874||13|
|16||33||Chris PITHER||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Mégane RS TCR||20||+ 1 LAP||1:18.367||16|
|17||35||Alexandra WHITLEY||Alliance Autosport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||20||+ 1 LAP||1:16.444||9|
|NS||777||Andre HEIMGARTNER||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|
|NS||4||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Melbourne Performance||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|