Aaron Cameron won the final TCR Australia race of the weekend at Bathurst by a comfortable margin over Bailey Sweeny to move himself back into championship contention.
Having scored the most points in the weekend’s first two races, GRM’s James Moffat had secured the pole position for the final race, with Cameron alongside.
At the start, however, Cameron was into the lead before the first corner and the Peugeot driver quickly scampered off into a clear lead, with a margin of over six and a half seconds by the end of the first tour.
And that was largely as close as the chasing field got for the rest of the race, as Cameron became a four-time winner in the series, of which three have come at Mount Panorama, with an easy victory.
Moffat ran in second until lap six, when Sweeny managed to get down the inside at The Chase, the HMO Customer Racing driver having gained fourth from Ben Bargwanna at the same place on the outside three laps prior, and then getting past Dylan O’Keeffe a lap later.
Moffat held third for one more lap, but was then tapped into a huge slide at Griffins Bend by O’Keeffe a lap later, dropping him to sixth.
O’Keeffe would go on to complete the podium behind Sweeny, but the GRM Peugeot driver was later handed a post-race ten second penalty for the incident with Moffat, dropping him to ninth.
That promoted HMO’s Josh Buchan into third, the Hyundai driver having gained to places on the lap when Moffat was tapped wide, as Ben Bargwanna dropped two places in quick succession to Brown and Buchan after going wide exiting the final turn.
Moffat ultimately was classified in fourth after the penalties to two of his rivals were applied, ahead of Bargwanna in fifth.
Brown was sixth after his five-second penalty for contact with Buchan was applied, ahead of the independent Hyundai of Brad Shiels in seventh.
Championship leader Tony D’Alberto once again scored consistently and was eighth, ahead of O’Keeffe and GRM’s Jordan Cox, who again had to charge through the field from the back of the grid, making up 11 places over the course of the race.
Michael Caruso claimed 11th in the Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo, having been dumped out of the top ten by Cox with three laps to go.
Luke King would have brought his Hyundai home in 12th but he was given a post-race 30-second time penalty for contact with Tim Slade on lap seven, which saw the Wall Racing driver spin out of 11th at the final corner, dropping King to 19th and giving the place to Michael Clemente.
Ultimately all drivers were classified finishers in the race, with GRM’s Kody Garland finishing two laps down after having had to pit for repairs when he crashed into the tyres at Griffins Bend on the opening lap.
D’Alberto continues to lead the championship with 322 points, ahead of Brown (285) and O’Keeffe (280), with none of the top three having yet won a race, such is the importance of consistency in the series.
The next round of TCR Australia takes place at Sydney Motorsport Park on 27 – 29 May.
|1||18||Aaron CAMERON||Team Valvoline GRM||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||22:28.5423||2:14.330||2|
|2||130||Bailey SWEENY||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||6.612||2:13.902||5|
|3||30||Josh BUCHAN||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||11.121||2:14.579||6|
|4||34||James MOFFAT||LCMT+ Racing GRM||Renault Mégane RS TCR||10||12.830||2:14.942||1|
|5||71||Ben BARGWANNA||Burson Auto Parts Racing||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||13.522||2:14.789||4|
|6||999||Will BROWN||MPC Team Liqui Moly||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||14.745||2:14.036||8|
|7||333||Brad SHIELS||Royal Purple Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||15.127||2:15.143||10|
|8||50||Tony D’ALBERTO||Honda Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||10||16.572||2:15.452||7|
|9||8||Dylan O’KEEFFE||Schaeffler GRM||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||17.941||2:14.326||3|
|10||33||Jordan COX||Swyftx GRM||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||18.034||2:14.161||21|
|11||10||Michael CARUSO||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||10||27.454||2:16.513||9|
|12||15||Michael CLEMENTE||Michael Clemente Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||10||27.811||2:15.856||13|
|13||110||Zac SOUTAR||Team Soutar Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||10||28.130||2:15.944||15|
|14||9||Jay HANSON||AWC MPC Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||28.567||2:15.541||12|
|15||11||Nathan MORCOM||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||29.603||2:15.294||16|
|16||89||Braydan WILLMINGTON||Braydan Willmington Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||10||36.193||2:16.096||19|
|17||24||Tim SLADE||Stan Sport Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||10||36.841||2:15.187||11|
|18||22||Iain MCDOUGALL||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||51.639||2:15.805||20|
|19||2||Luke KING||MOUTAI / Zip Pay||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||58.792||2:15.798||14|
|20||14||Lachlan MINEEFF||Purple Sector||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||10||59.413||2:15.220||18|
|21||41||Kody GARLAND||Valvoline Racing GRM||Renault Mégane RS TCR||8||+ 2 LAPS||2:25.304||17|