Nathan Morcom takes the spoils in drama-filled TCR Australia finale

Nathan Morcom takes the spoils in drama-filled TCR Australia finale

Nathan Morcom made it nine different winners for the inaugural season of TCR Australia after claiming a maiden victory in a drama-filled season finale at The Bend Motorsport Park.

Aaron Cameron and 2019 champion Will Brown made a level start on the front row, but both were bested by a fast-starting James Cox and James Moffat on the run to the first corner.

Brown was forced to slot his HMO-run Hyundai i30 N into third on the road, whilst Cameron fell back to fifth in the opening exchanges behind Brown’s teammate Morcom.

That remained the status quo at the front for another two laps, before Morcom’s dive to the inside of Brown at the Hairpin released him to chase down Moffat’s Renault Megane for the runner-up spot.

He appeared to have the job done as the pair ran side-by-side through the first corner, but Moffat made good use of Turns 2 & 3 to retain the advantage.

Things were progressing less-than-ideally for Brown, meanwhile, as Chris Pither’s Renault relegated him another spot to fifth.

A problem for Moffat curtailed his race, forcing the Renault to park on the GT circuit between Turns 8 & 9; with Morcom released and hunting down Cox with Pither in tow, the cards were stacking up nicely for a three-way showdown, each driver in search of a maiden win.

Cox would be denied his chance, however, with a puncture cruelly ending the Alfa’s race with six laps to go.

Morcom inherited a race lead he would not relinquish, keeping Pither at arm’s length to win by 0.7 seconds at the chequered flag.

It marks the ninth different race winner in a highly-competitive first season of TCR racing in Australia, with Brown completing the podium.

The other key talking point of the race revolved around the battle for the vice-champion honours between Race 2 winner Cameron and Tony D’Alberto, with the winner also set to leave The Bend with a £50,000 payday.

It seemed all but certain the honours would go to Cameron, with D’Alberto dropping to 15th on the opening lap.

However, the 33-year old battled back through the field in sublime style, moving into sixth behind Cameron, but with a mountain to climb – several seconds split the pair with a handful of laps left on the board.

Lady luck would intervene, with a mechanical problem for Cameron slowing the VW. D’Alberto caught and passed his fellow Aussie on the main straight heading onto the penultimate lap, and would go on to take the honours as Cameron dropped to tenth at the flag.

So, the finishing order was Morcom, Pither, Brown, an impressive showing from Andre Heimgartner in fourth and D’Alberto rounding out the top five.

John Martin’s Honda Civic Type R was sixth, edging out Jason Bright’s VW by 2 seconds in seventh.

Aurelien Comte ended a frustrating weekend for the Peugeot 308 and DG Sport on a high after charging through to eighth; both he and Tim Brooks’ CUPRA passed the hampered Cameron at the line – he rounds out the top ten.

So, it’s Morcom’s moment in the sun, as TCR Australia ends it’s maiden season of competition with an action-packed thriller. Onwards to 2020…

Race result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 11 Nathan MORCOM HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 27:34.1288 1:57.050 6
2 33 Chris PITHER Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR 14 0.737 1:57.133 8
3 30 Will BROWN HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 14 4.254 1:57.168 2
4 777 Andre HEIMGARTNER Kelly Racing Holden Astra TCR 14 10.599 1:57.333 10
5 50 Tony D’ALBERTO Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR 14 18.432 1:57.744 5
6 24 John MARTIN Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR 14 20.256 1:58.252 11
7 8 Jason BRIGHT Taskforce / Alliance Autosport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 22.646 1:58.070 7
8 308 Aurélien COMTE DG Sport Compétition Peugeot 308 TCR 14 32.307 1:59.117 14
9 38 Tim BROOK Garage 1 CUPRA TCR 14 32.972 1:59.070 16
10 16 Aaron CAMERON Melbourne Performance Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 33.064 1:57.384 1
11 35 Alexandra WHITLEY Melbourne Performance Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 34.549 1:59.061 13
12 3 Iain MCDOUGALL Melbourne Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 14 35.372 1:58.863 15
13 19 Matthew SIMMONS Milldun Motorsport Subaru WRX STi 14 36.841 1:58.417 17
14 10 James ALLEN Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 14 1:50.432 1:57.638 12
15 27 Barton MAWER Milldun Motorsport Subaru WRX STi 14 1:56.793 1:59.278 18
R 38 Jordan COX Garry Rogers Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 7 DNF 1:57.520 3
R 34 James MOFFAT Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR 4 DNF 1:57.768 4
R 100 Russell INGALL Melbourne Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 3 DNF 1:59.518 9
NS 9 Dylan O’KEEFFE Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR DNS N/A 19
NS 97 Liam MCADAM Melbourne Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR DNS N/A
NS 37 Chelsea ANGELO Kelly Racing Holden Astra TCR DNS N/A
TCR Australia points deficit after Round 21
Graphic: TouringCars.Net