Jason Bargwanna secured victory in race three of the TCR Australia series at Phillip Island, as long-time race leader Chaz Mostert suffered from a puncture whilst under pressure from the Peugeot driver.
Mostert, who was looking to secure a hat-trick of wins at the island circuit, lost the lead at the start of the race to Melbourne Performance Centre team-mate Luke King, but the change would be short-lived as King then spun off at Turn 2 without outside assistance.
That left Mostert in the lead of the race and the Supercars ace initially opened up a 1.5-second advantage over the pursuing pack.
Bargwanna had worked his way into third at the start, before pressuring Tony D’Alberto’s Honda at the end of the first lap, squeezing past at Turn 9 on the second tour.
The experienced racer then held second for much of the race, despite a high-speed off at Turn 1 on lap nine.
But with Mostert not able to maintain his scintillating pace in the final third of the race, Bargwanna closed on the leading Audi, applying heavy pressure just one lap after his own off.
On lap 11 as the leading duo passed the pits, Mostert’s front-right tyre finally gave way, handing the lead of the race to Bargwanna as the race one and two winner was forced to limp back to the pits for a tyre change.
That left Bargwanna to hold off D’Alberto for the win, giving Peugeot a first-ever victory in TCR Australia, ahead of the Wall Racing Honda.
Nathan Morcom was the leading Hyundai driver in third, having fought past John Martin and Michael Clemente in the closing laps in a race which featured plenty of mid-pack passing.
The Hondas of Martin and Clemente took fourth and fifth, ahead of the second Peugeot of Ben Bargwanna in sixth.
Dylan O’Keeffe enjoyed his best performance of the weekend in seventh in his Renault, ahead of the recovering Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo of Jay Hanson in eighth.
The top ten was completed by Josh Buchan’s Hyundai and Aaron Cameron’s Peugeot, the latter having dropped down the order after running fifth early in the race.
Jordan Cox, who led the championship heading into the event, failed to take the start after his car suffered from a hole in its engine sump when the driveshaft was damaged earlier in the day.
Mostert, who took the chequered flag in 18th, continues to lead the championship despite his puncture, leaving the weekend with 212 points ahead of King on 197 points and Lee Holdsworth, who was 19th and two laps down in the race, on 187 points.