Melbourne Performance Centre’s Will Brown picked up his first TCR Australia win of the season in the final race at Sandown after catching and passing early leader Jordan Cox on the track.
Brown had started the race from pole position, but Cox leapt into the lead with a stronger launch, as Brown dropped to fourth also behind Zac Soutar and Ben Bargwanna away from the line.
Over the next three laps Brown was able to regain his composure and pass Bargwanna into the opening corner on lap three, before muscling past Soutar’s Honda at Turn 9 on the next lap.
Cox though was a harder subject to pass, and Brown followed the GRM Peugeot until lap 13, when he made a clean move up the inside at Turn 9, which despite Cox’s best attempts to re-pass at the next turn, stood thereafter.
Brown then pulled clear to take his first win since claiming the inaugural TCR Australia title in 2019, with Cox losing out to the charging Alfa Romeo of Ashley Seward Motorsport’s Michael Caruso in the latter third of the race.
Cox completed the podium, giving him a first back-to-back podium result since the season opener in January.
HMOS Customer Racing’s Josh Buchan got by Bargwanna for fourth on the penultimate lap, with championship leader Tony D’Alberto following through at the same time to clinch fifth.
Bargwanna, who just hours earlier had claimed his maiden win in the series, was sixth, ahead of the second HMO Hyundai of Bailey Sweeny in seventh – even though the youngster had made contact with D’Alberto at Turn 2 on lap 14 which saw him sent spinning through the mud.
Dylan O’Keeffe brought his Peugeot home in eighth, with the top ten being completed by the fast but unpredictable Audi of Jay Hanson and the Renault of James Moffat – the latter being handed a post-race five-second penalty for having biffed Soutar off the road into the mud with just three laps to go.
That contact ultimately cost Soutar points, as he then went off again later in the lad with muddy tyres and ultimately finished down in 16th.
D’Alberto continues to lead the standings with just one event left, albeit one with 50% more points on offer, the Honda driver holding 658 points ahead of Cox (602), Brown (585), Buchan (565) and Soutar (565).
|1||999||Will BROWN||MPC Team Liqui Moly||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||22||30:15.8210||1:21.219||1|
|2||10||Michael CARUSO||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||22||1.153||1:20.927||7|
|3||33||Jordan COX||Swyftx GRM||Peugeot 308 TCR||22||9.307||1:21.620||4|
|4||30||Josh BUCHAN||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||22||15.281||1:22.073||6|
|5||50||Tony D’ALBERTO||Honda Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||22||15.926||1:21.926||3|
|6||71||Ben BARGWANNA||Burson Auto Parts Racing||Peugeot 308 TCR||22||16.678||1:22.246||5|
|7||130||Bailey SWEENY||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||22||17.637||1:21.505||10|
|8||8||Dylan O’KEEFFE||Schaeffler GRM||Peugeot 308 TCR||22||20.929||1:22.000||16|
|9||9||Jay HANSON||AWC MPC Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||22||22.347||1:21.547||18|
|10||34||James MOFFAT||LCMT+ Racing GRM||Renault Mégane RS TCR||22||25.399||1:21.567||15|
|11||11||Nathan MORCOM||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||22||26.842||1:22.257||12|
|12||41||Kody GARLAND||Valvoline Racing GRM||Renault Mégane RS TCR||22||30.794||1:21.710||14|
|13||22||Iain MCDOUGALL||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||22||32.220||1:22.162||11|
|14||15||Michael CLEMENTE||Michael Clemente Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||22||37.596||1:22.386||8|
|15||14||Lachlan MINEEFF||Purple Sector||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||22||44.691||1:22.043||13|
|16||110||Zac SOUTAR||Team Soutar Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||22||50.567||1:22.101||2|
|R||2||Luke KING||MOUTAI / Zip Pay||Hyundai i30 N TCR||8||DNF||1:22.633||17|
|NS||18||Aaron CAMERON||Team Valvoline GRM||Peugeot 308 TCR||–||DNS||N/A||9|