Aaron Cameron heads Peugeot 1-2-3 in opening Bathurst race

Aaron Cameron claimed his first TCR Australia win of the season in a relatively sedate opening race at Mount Panorama, as the GRM driver headed up a Peugeot 1-2-3 in front of Ben Bargwanna and Dylan O’Keeffe.

Earlier in the day, Cameron had bagged his first-ever pole position in the series when he edged out Jordan Cox to claim the top spot with a lap of 2 minutes 12.768 seconds.

Cox was later hit with a penalty after qualifying for having blocked a rival’s qualifying lap, dropping him three places on the starting grid behind Bargwanna, O’Keeffe and Tim Slade.

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At the start, Cameron came under pressure from Bargwanna around the outside of Turn 1, but as the duo ran side-by-side up the hill exiting the corner, Cameron was able to pull ahead and hold on to his lead.

The 22-year-old then came under little pressure thereafter, as the Bathurst expert – who has never finished lower than second in the seven TCR races he has contested at the mountain – romped clear to his third overall win in the category.

Bargwanna settled into second – his third visit to the rostrum on the bounce – as O’Keeffe completed the podium in the best-ever result for Peugeot in TCR Australia to-date.

Cox had initially made a place past Slade on the opening lap to make it a Peugeot top four, but on the fourth lap the title contender was forced to retire after his car overheated, denting his weekend hopes.

Melbourne Performance Centre’s Will Brown made a place past Tony D’Alberto on the opening lap, followed by Tim Slade on the next tour, and the Audi driver went on to finish in fourth after he passed James Moffat’s Renault two laps later.

Moffat took fifth – his second top ten result of the year – in his GRM Mégane, ahead of Slade in sixth.

D’Alberto brought the second Wall Racing Honda home in seventh, ahead of the leading HMO Customer Racing Hyundai of Josh Buchan in eighth.

The top ten was completed by Buchan’s team-mate Bailey Sweeny in ninth and the Ashley Seward motorsport Alfa Romeo of Michael Caruso in tenth, giving the latter the pole position for the partially reverse-grid race two.

After wrecking his new-spec Audi in practice, Jay Hanson was only 14th in the team’s spare old specification RS3.

Late in the race a close battle developed for the lower positions, with Michael Clemente initially being passed for 15th by series returnee Luke King, before retaking the position at The Chase, as behind them rookie Kody Garland stole 17th from Lachlan Mineeff.

Race two is scheduled to get underway at 17:10 local time (08:10 BST, 09:10 CEST).

Race results

1 18 Aaron CAMERON Team Valvoline GRM Peugeot 308 TCR 10 22:29.4850 2:14.097 1
2 71 Ben BARGWANNA Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot 308 TCR 10 2.8633 2:14.514 2
3 8 Dylan O’KEEFFE Schaeffler GRM Peugeot 308 TCR 10 7.8467 2:14.685 3
4 999 Will BROWN MPC Team Liqui Moly Audi RS3 LMS TCR 10 13.2566 2:14.443 8
5 34 James MOFFAT LCMT+ Racing GRM Renault Mégane RS TCR 10 14.0779 2:15.298 6
6 24 Tim SLADE Stan Sport Wall Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 10 14.8106 2:15.262 4
7 50 Tony D’ALBERTO Honda Wall Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 10 15.7566 2:15.310 7
8 30 Josh BUCHAN HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 16.1149 2:15.333 11
9 130 Bailey SWEENY HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 16.8021 2:15.278 9
10 10 Michael CARUSO Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 10 19.0829 2:15.394 10
11 333 Brad SHIELS Royal Purple Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 20.9659 2:15.814 12
12 11 Nathan MORCOM HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 22.9636 2:15.766 13
13 110 Zac SOUTAR Team Soutar Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 10 24.0903 2:15.694 14
14 9 Jay HANSON AWC MPC Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 10 24.6580 2:15.897 15
15 15 Michael CLEMENTE Michael Clemente Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 10 26.7385 2:15.442 16
16 2 Luke KING MOUTAI / Zip Pay Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 28.3921 2:15.871 19
17 41 Kody GARLAND Valvoline Racing GRM Renault Mégane RS TCR 10 29.1019 2:16.036 17
18 14 Lachlan MINEEFF Purple Sector Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 10 29.4269 2:16.210 18
19 89 Braydan WILLMINGTON Braydan Willmington Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 10 43.3341 2:16.974 21
20 22 Iain MCDOUGALL Melbourne Performance Centre Audi RS3 LMS TCR 10 47.0492 2:17.426 20
R 33 Jordan COX Swyftx GRM Peugeot 308 TCR 4 DNF 2:14.686 5
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