Jordan Cox emerged victorious in race three of the TCR Australia series at Symmons Plains Raceway, as on-the-track winner Lee Holdsworth was given a five-second time penalty.
Cox, the pole-sitter after winning the earlier race two, held the lead at the start of the race, as Holdsworth kept the pressure on in second.
Whilst Cox was able to give himself breathing space in the early stages, Holdsworth began to attack in the final part of the race and three laps from the end he made his move on Cox into Turn 6, seizing the lead.
However, the Supercars veteran made the pass knowing he had earlier picked up a five-second time penalty for creeping at the start, and with only two laps to open up a lead of over five seconds it was immediately unlikely the Ashely Seward Motorsport driver would keep the win.
In the end Holdsworth crossed the finish line less than a second ahead of Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Cox, eventually dropping to third behind Chaz Mostert with the penalty applied.
Cox, eventually dropping to third behind Chaz Mostert with the penalty applied.
“I’m really stoked, it’s a great way to finish the weekend,” said Cox. “It’s probably not the way I wanted to do it, I wanted to cross the line first then.
“But full credit to Lee and Chaz; it’s great sharing a track with those guys.”
Melbourne Performance Centre’s Mostert himself had a quiet race to the podium position, running in third for the entire race before gaining with Holdsworth’s penalty.
Luke King brought his MPC Audi home in fourth after a race equally quiet like Mostert, whilst HMO Customer Racing’s Nathan Morcom was the leading Hyundai driver in fifth.
Josh Buchan was behind his Hyundai team-mate in sixth, passing Brad Shiels early in the race and then picking off Jason Bargwanna’s Peugeot.
Jay Hanson was an impressive seventh, the youngster coming through from 16th on the grid in his Alfa Romeo.
Aaron Cameron was the leading Peugeot driver in eighth, although he almost lost the place in the final laps in a tight battle with Jason Bargwanna and James Moffat.
On the final lap of the race, approaching the final corner, Jason Bargwanna appeared to suffer a failure on his 308 TCR, pitching him off backwards at high speed where he T-boned the Renault Mégane of Moffat at the final turn in a huge impact.
The crash took Moffat out of what was set to be a ninth-place finish, instead promoting the Alfa of Michael Caruso into the position, whilst the Renault of Dylan O’Keeffe completed the top ten.
After the first three races of the season Cox leads the standings with 126 points, ahead of Holdsworth on 122, Mostert on 110, King on 102 and Buchan on 100.
The next round of TCR Australia takes place at Phillip Island on 19 – 21 February.