Nathan Morcom heads Hyundai 1-2 in final Sydney race

Nathan Morcom headed an HMO Customer Racing 1-2 in the final TCR Australia race at Sydney Motorsport Park, getting ahead of pole-sitter Jordan Cox at the start of the race.

With the grid for race three being formed by the best scores from the opening two races of the weekend, Cox found himself on pole despite having had a best result of third in the second race earlier in the day.

Morcom, who had endured a five-place grid penalty prior to race one after qualifying in second, had the second-best score prior to the race and lined up alongside Cox on the front row, with Luke King starting third ahead of Jay Hanson in fourth.

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At the start, Cox held his lead through the first turns with Morcom slotting into second, as King held third from Dylan O’Keeffe.

Morcom made his move for the lead at Turn 6, with King following though after muscling Cox wide at the following corner.

As far as the lead was concerned, that was it as Morcom maintained his advantage at the front for the rest of the race, with a comfortable margin over King.

King held second for the first ten laps, but a charging Josh Buchan, who had won race one earlier in the weekend, demoted him on the 12th lap.

King then looked like he was going to hold on to the final podium place, but on the final lap Cox pipped him to the post, with King in fourth, just half a second further back.

GRM’s O’Keeffe took the chequered flag in sixth, gaining one place from his starting position, ahead of Melbounre Performance Centre’s Will Brown in sixth.

Brown had to again start the race from the back of the grid due to the lack of points he had accrued from retiring from the opening race and then having to battle through the field in race two.

Brown’s team-mate Jay Hanson had run as high as fourth, but he slipped down the order after the first lap and finished in seventh, having battled with O’Keeffe in the early stages, but on the second lap he was muscled down to tenth in a move initiated by the Peugeot of Aaron Cameron.

In the same train of cars, Fabian Coulthard was knocked into a spin on the second lap, dropping him down to 19th.

Hanson was able to claw back two places on the next lap, initially with a bold move past Michael Clemente at the first turn before passing Zac Soutar’s Honda at the next corner.

Hanson actually ran in sixth and ahead of Brown at the mid-stage of the race, but he lost a place to Brown three laps from the finish.

Clemente took eighth, whilst the top ten was completed by the Hyundai of Bailey Sweeny and the Peugeot of Ben Bargwanna, who concluded a tough weekend riddled with turbo hose issues with a top ten finish.

Ashley Seward Motorsport’s Michael Caruso finished a lap down in 20th having suffered from a broken rim, whilst GRM’s James Moffat retired from the race after the opening lap due to contact with team-mate Ben Bargwanna on the opening lap.

Cameron was demoted to 12th in the final half of the race.

Championship leader Tony D’Alberto dropped to 19th on the opening lap following contact with Brad Shiels’ Hyundai and he never really recovered, having fought with bent steering in his Honda, ending the race in 16th, although he maintains a 22-point series lead over O’Keeffe.

Lachlan Minneeff would have been classified in 15th but he was handed a post-race ten-second penalty for contact with Braydan Willmington, dropping the Volkswagen driver to 19th.

The next TCR Australia event takes place at Queensland Raceway on August 5-7.

Race results

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 11 Nathan MORCOM HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 17 27:19.3179 1:35.649 2
2 30 Josh BUCHAN HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 17 0.563 1:35.081 5
3 33 Jordan COX Swyftx GRM Peugeot 308 TCR 17 5.020 1:35.459 1
4 2 Luke KING MOUTAI / Zip Pay Hyundai i30 N TCR 17 5.549 1:35.577 3
5 8 Dylan O’KEEFFE Schaeffler GRM Peugeot 308 TCR 17 8.569 1:35.649 6
6 999 Will BROWN MPC Team Liqui Moly Audi RS3 LMS TCR 17 14.330 1:35.521 20
7 9 Jay HANSON AWC MPC Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021 17 14.630 1:35.708 4
8 15 Michael CLEMENTE Michael Clemente Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 17 18.494 1:36.107 12
9 130 Bailey SWEENY HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 17 18.944 1:35.945 13
10 71 Ben BARGWANNA Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot 308 TCR 17 19.658 1:36.263 18
11 41 Kody GARLAND Valvoline Racing GRM Renault Mégane RS TCR 17 22.729 1:36.348 21
12 18 Aaron CAMERON Team Valvoline GRM Peugeot 308 TCR 17 26.723 1:36.615 9
13 333 Brad SHIELS Royal Purple Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 17 26.791 1:36.640 10
14 110 Zac SOUTAR Team Soutar Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 17 34.603 1:36.690 8
15 24 Fabian COULTHARD Stan Sport Wall Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 17 35.033 1:36.205 17
16 50 Tony D’ALBERTO Honda Wall Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 17 35.394 1:36.988 7
17 22 Iain MCDOUGALL Melbourne Performance Centre Audi RS3 LMS TCR 17 35.498 1:36.847 19
18 89 Braydan WILLMINGTON Braydan Willmington Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 17 35.848 1:36.540 15
19 14 Lachlan MINEEFF Purple Sector Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 17 44.629 1:36.681 14
20 10 Michael CARUSO Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 16 + 1 LAP 1:35.488 16
R 34 James MOFFAT LCMT+ Racing GRM Renault Mégane RS TCR 1 DNF 1:48.700 11
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