Will Brown scores first win of the season after mastering tricky conditions

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.

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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).

Race result

POS NO CL NAT DRIVER ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
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
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