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Will Brown dominates Queensland race one with lights-to-flag victory

Melbourne Performance Centre’s Will Brown dominated race one of the TCR Australia series’ visit to Queensland Raceway on Saturday, securing his first victory of the season.

Having qualified on pole position earlier in the day by 0.172 seconds over Bailey Sweeny, Brown then went unchallenged in the opening race of the weekend to secure a comfortable victory, with a margin of over ten seconds by the chequered flag.

His task was made easier when championship leader Sweeny, who had put his Hyundai i30 in second on the grid, suffered from a battery failure which meant he couldn’t line up alongside on the front row, instead having to start from the pitlane.

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Even then, Sweeny couldn’t get going, and after losing a lap, he finally joined the race, ultimately going on to finish two laps down but nonetheless picking up important points, instead of none had he been classified as a non-finisher.

Also suffering at the start was Tim Slade, who is standing in for Tom Oliphant in Ashley Seward Motorsport’s Lynk & Co this weekend.

Slade struggled to get his car away from fourth on the grid, dropping to the back of the pack when he stalled as the lights went out.

Those issues allowed reigning champion Tony D’Alberto to assume second early on, but the Wall Racing Honda driver had no answer to the pace of Brown’s leading Audi, and he ultimately took a distant second.

Zac Soutar brought his Audi home in third to complete the podium, having gained three places at the start – although two were effectively ‘gifted’ to him – and then fought past GRM’s Jordan Cox on the third lap of the race.

Cox was the leading Peugeot driver in fourth, ahead of the Hyundai Elantra of title contender Josh Buchan in fifth – the HMO Customer Racing driver having a relatively quiet race after dispatching Ben Bargwanna on the third tour.

Bargwanna brought his Peugeot home in sixth, ahead of fellow 308 racer Aaron Cameron in seventh, the latter having started from the back of the field following issues in qualifying.

Kody Garland was directly behind his team-mate in eighth, with the top ten being completed by Michael Clemente’s CUPRA and Brad Harris’ Honda.

For race two, Harris will thud start from the reverse-grid pole, with Clemente alongside.

Slade did recover one place after his botched start to take 11th, after Lachlan Mineeff dropped back in his first-generation Audi over the course of the race.

Sweeny finished two laps down as the last driver in 13th.

Race two is scheduled to take place at 12:45 AEST (03:45 BST, 04:45 CEST) on Sunday, followed by race three at 16:20 AEST.

Race results

1 9 Will BROWN MPC Team Liqui Moly Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 21 21 LAPS 1:14.537 1
2 1 Tony D’ALBERTO Honda Wall Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 21 10.0142 1:15.064 3
3 110 Zac SOUTAR Team Soutar Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 21 11.4423 1:14.930 7
4 33 Jordan COX Schaeffler GRM Peugeot 308 TCR 21 17.1981 1:15.368 5
5 30 Josh BUCHAN HMO Customer Racing Hyundai Elantra N TCR 21 17.9523 1:15.129 8
6 71 Ben BARGWANNA Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot 308 TCR 21 20.3112 1:15.505 6
7 18 Aaron CAMERON Team Valvoline GRM Peugeot 308 TCR 21 20.6699 1:15.333 13
8 41 Kody GARLAND Valvoline Racing GRM Peugeot 308 TCR 21 25.8658 1:15.414 11
9 15 Michael CLEMENTE Michael Clemente Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 21 26.2083 1:15.444 9
10 74 Brad HARRIS Exclusive Switchboards Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 21 26.5416 1:15.676 12
11 11 Tim SLADE Ashley Seward Motorsport Lynk & Co 03 TCR 21 26.8429 1:15.575 4
12 14 Lachlan MINEEFF Forza Brakes Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 21 41.7345 1:15.578 10
13 130 Bailey SWEENY HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 19 + 2 LAPS 1:17.045 2
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