Jordan Cox claimed his third TCR Australia victory of the season in race two at Bathurst, benefitting from an incident-packed race to come through the field.
At the start of the race, reverse-grid front-row men Dylan O’Keeffe and Luke King made a slow start, which saw King’s Audi get squeezed between the fast-starting Hyundai of Brad Shiels and Aaron Cameron’s Peugeot.
The result was King was turned around by Cameron at Turn 1, eventually limping back to the pitlane and out of the race.
Further around the lap, early leader O’Keeffe then went off at The Chase and spun out of the race whilst under heavy pressure from Shiels, handing the advantage at the front to the Peugeot of Jason Bargwanna, who squeezed past Shiels in the dramas at the final corner.
O’Keeffe continued, but only for one lap as he then retired at the end of lap two with a front-right puncture.
Cox, meanwhile, had made up five places on his grid position on the opening tour, to cross the line in ninth.
Shiels tried to re-take the lead from Bargwanna at the second turn on lap two, but couldn’t get far enough alongside the leading Peugeot, having another go at The Chase but still unable to get by.
Shiels eventually got into the lead at Turn 2 on lap three, with the Tilton Racing driver then holding the lead for four further laps, as Bargwanna lost second to Mivhael Caruso at The Chase on the same lap.
Just behind them, Josh Buchan got it wrong at the same corner and careered into the side of Ben Bargwanna’s Peugeot as the duo were fighting for eighth, eliminating both drivers from the race.
By the end of the lap Jason Bargwanna had been elbowed down to fifth as Cameron and Jay Hanson also got past at the final corner. A lap later Bargwanna lost fifth to the charging Cox.
Shiels was passed for the lead by Caruso at The Chase on lap seven, and the Hyundai driver then found himself elbowed out of the way at the final corner of the lap, dropping to fifth.
Cox seized the chance to move up to third past Cameron at the first corner on the next lap, which then became second a corner later as Hanson didn’t put up much of a fight to his fellow Alfa Romeo driver, also losing out to Cameron to drop to fourth.
Shiels, suffering from a delaminated front-right tyre, pitted at the end of the lap, dropping him off the leading lap.
Caruso led for a further three laps until lap ten, when Cox seized the lead at the top of the mountain, with Cameron following into second at the bottom of the mountain at Forest Elbow.
Cox and Cameron began to pull clear from Caruso, who had dropped over six seconds behind when he went off into the gravel at The Chase with an apparent front-right puncture, prompting a safety car period.
The safety car was on track until then end of lap 16, allowing a one-lap sprint to the finish, with Jason Bargwanna at the time holding the final podium place ahead of James Moffat’s Renault and series newcomer Christopher Mies’ Audi.
At the front, Cox quickly pulled clear from Cameron to give him a comfortable margin for his third win of 2021 ahead of Cameron.
Bargwanna held onto third, with Mies snatching fourth from Moffat at The Chase, Moffat bringing his Renault Mégane home in fifth.
In a race of high attrition, Lachlan Mineeff scored a best-ever result in sixth in his Volkswagen, ahead of Wall Racing’s John Martin in seventh.
Hanson finished the race in eighth, having had to pit for a new tyre after a mid-race puncture.
The top ten was completed by HMO Customer Racing’s Nathan Morcom, who had to pit after a puncture, and Purple Sector’s Keegan Brain.
Race three is scheduled to get underway at 14:00 AEDT (04:00 CET, 03:00 GMT) on Saturday.
|1||5||Jordan COX||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||17||43:26.3105||2:16.212||14|
|2||155||Aaron CAMERON||Team Valvoline GRM||Peugeot 308 TCR||17||0.569||2:17.057||6|
|3||17||Jason BARGWANNA||Burson Auto Parts Racing||Peugeot 308 TCR||17||1.799||2:17.518||3|
|4||75||Christopher MIES||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||17||2.838||2:17.774||17|
|5||34||James MOFFAT||LMCT+ Racing GRM||Renault Mégane RS TCR||17||3.194||2:18.051||5|
|6||14||Lachlan MINEEFF||Purple Sector / Southern Star||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||17||5.903||2:18.508||12|
|7||24||John MARTIN||Mobil 1 Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||17||6.372||2:17.357||7|
|8||9||Jay HANSON||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||17||7.244||2:17.070||10|
|9||11||Nathan MORCOM||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||17||8.868||2:17.823||16|
|10||78||Keegan BRAIN||Purple Sector||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||17||9.976||2:20.253||15|
|11||333||Brad SHIELS||Tilton Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||+ 1 LAP||2:17.335||4|
|12||110||Zac SOUTAR||Team Soutar Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||16||+ 1 LAP||2:18.178||11|
|R||150||Michael CARUSO||Valvoline Racing GRM||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||12||DNF||2:17.135||8|
|R||71||Ben BARGWANNA||Burson Auto Parts Racing||Peugeot 308 TCR||3||DNF||2:20.742||9|
|R||30||Josh BUCHAN||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||3||DNF||2:20.308||13|
|R||33||Dylan O’KEEFFE||Lowbake Racing GRM||Renault Mégane RS TCR||2||DNF||N/A||1|
|R||2||Luke KING||MPC Moutai||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||1||DNF||N/A||2|
|NS||25||Chaz MOSTERT||MPC Bostik Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||–||DNS||N/A||–|