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Bailey Sweeny secures race two honours at Sandown

HMO Customer Racing’s Bailey Sweeny took victory in the second TCR Australia race of the weekend at Sandown Raceway, despite another poor start when the lights went out.

Sweeny had been promoted to the front row of the grid for Sunday’s second race after receiving a five-second penalty in race one, which although it dropped him from fifth to ninth in the result, it meant he would start race two from second on the grid.

However, at the start Sweeny once again failed to get a good launch, and it was GRM’s Jordan Cox who went into Turn One with the advantage on the inside line, whilst Sweeny’s team-mate Josh Buchan pulled ahead on the outside line.

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However, as Cox tried to complete his pass on pole-sitter Tom Oliphant’s Lynk & Co the two made contact, and Buchan took evasive action, dropping the latter to sixth.

Sweeny thus was able to hold his line on Cox to take second at the next chicane, and went on to take the lead from Oliphant into Turn 6 on the second lap.

Over the course of the rest of the race, Sweny could extend his advantage and ultimately crossed the line to score his fourth win of the season with an advantage of two and a half seconds over Aaron Cameron.

It means Sweeny retakes the championship lead, having briefly held it over team-mate Buchan on Saturday before his five-second penalty dropped him back behind again.

Cameron, like Sweeny, had also received a five-second penalty after race one, dropping from second to fourth, but the Peugeot driver made amends in race two by coming from seventh on the grid to take second.

Cameron had made a strong start to gain fourth in the first corner bumping, and picked off Cox for third further around the lap.

He then dispatched Oliphant, who was struggling for straight-line speed, for second on lap three, but ultimately lacked the pace to take the fight to Sweeny at the front.

Lachlan Mineeff finished in third to complete the podium in the older-spec Audi, having moved with Cameron at the start into a strong position.

Cox came home in fourth, despite having been warned about exceeding track limits, with Buchan bringing his Hyundai Elantra home in fifth.

Ben Bargwanna had a relatively uneventful race in sixth, ahead of Zac Soutar as the leading second-generation Audi driver.

Oliphant slipped steadily down the order during the race, the Brit coming home in eighth, with the top ten completed by race one winner Tony D’Alberto and sole CUPRA driver Michael Clemente, both drivers struggling to make inroads from lowly grid positions.

Will Brown had climbed up to fourth by lap 12, including making a bold high-speed pass on Cox for the place on lap nine, but his charge was curtailed due to an oil leak, which had been smearing his car’s windscreen and obscuring his visibility before his retirement from the race.

Race result

1 130 Bailey SWEENY HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 21 26:35.3692 1:14.891 2
2 18 Aaron CAMERON Team Valvoline GRM Peugeot 308 TCR 21 2.479 1:15.225 7
3 14 Lachlan MINEEFF Forza Brakes Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 21 3.266 1:15.055 6
4 33 Jordan COX Schaeffler GRM Peugeot 308 TCR 21 12.498 1:15.331 3
5 30 Josh BUCHAN HMO Customer Racing Hyundai Elantra N TCR 21 13.498 1:15.556 4
6 71 Ben BARGWANNA Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot 308 TCR 21 13.547 1:15.426 5
7 110 Zac SOUTAR Team Soutar Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 21 21.759 1:15.528 8
8 115 Tom OLIPHANT Ashley Seward Motorsport Lynk & Co 03 TCR 21 22.486 1:15.878 1
9 1 Tony D’ALBERTO Honda Wall Racing Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR 21 22.836 1:15.488 10
10 15 Michael CLEMENTE Michael Clemente Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición TCR 21 23.866 1:15.607 13
11 41 Kody GARLAND Valvoline Racing GRM Peugeot 308 TCR 21 27.494 1:16.048 12
12 22 Iain MCDOUGALL Melbourne Performance Centre Audi RS3 LMS TCR 21 50.868 1:16.259 11
R 9 Will BROWN MPC Team Liqui Moly Audi RS3 LMS TCR II 12 DNF 1:14.832 9
DQ 4 Clay RICHARDS Hangcha Forklifts Peugeot 308 TCR 21 DSQ 1:16.762 14
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