14 July 2019 | Featured

John Martin takes Honda’s first win in TCR Australia

John Martin became the third different winner from three starts, and scored the first success for Honda, as the TCR Australia Series wrapped at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia today.

Martin started from fourth and moved forward in the opening laps in his Civic Type R before pouncing on early leader Garth Tander’s Audi RS3 at the halfway point of the final 30-minute contest of the weekend, eventually taking a solid success ahead of Tander and James Moffat in a hastily-repaired Renault Megane.

Will Brown, who scored his fourth win from eight starts in the first of Sunday’s two contests, led from pole position but was jumped by the others and ran wide at one stage to only trail home in fifth. Even so, he still leads the series by 280 points to the 211 of Alfa Romeo racer Dylan O’Keefe, with Honda’s best-placed Tony D’Alberto on 183.

The final race of the chilly weekend was mostly trouble-free, following a crash-fest in the second leg that reduced the original field of 19 cars to 15 as Chris Pither’s Renault and James Vernon’s Alfa could not be repaired. Alexandra Whitley and Chelsea Angelo also retired with mechanical troubles.

Martin said he enjoyed his battle with Tander and pounced when he saw an opening.

“When I got the opportunity I just drove it in there. I knew I wouldn’t get the golden opportunity again,” he said.

“Once I got in front I as able to to build a gap and bring it home.”

Tander admitted an error but was also happy to take three podiums and top points for the weekend, although he only has one other TCR weekend on his schedule for the rest of the year.

“The car was mega in the early part of the race but the tyres went away in the middle part,” Tander said.

“It was good to get another opportunity in TCR and and find myself on the podium in all three races.”

Moffat managed a pair of thirds for the weekend after a massive practice crash on Friday, and would have done better after taking pole for Race 1 if he had not been turned around by rookie Jordan Cox.

“To even make the race on Saturday was a phenomenal effort by the team. I think we got back to where we should have been at the start of the weekend,” Moffat said.

“There is still a lot of potential in the car. There are only four of these racing in the world and we have two of them here in Australia.”

The third race was surprisingly incident-free after the first turn, where O’Keefe hit D’Alberto in a move that dropped the Honda driver out of any contention and left him seventh at the finish.

The carsales TCR Australia Series now heads to Queensland Raceway for the fourth leg of the championship from August 2-4.

Results, Race 3

Pos Num Driver Team Car Laps Time
   24 John Martin (NSW)       Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   14 27:41.8519
    4 Garth Tander (Vic)      Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            14 27:44.6237
   34 James Moffat (Vic)      Garry Rogers Motorsport        Renault Megane RS    14 27:45.7600
   38 Jordan Cox (NSW)        Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   14 27:46.5200
   30 William Brown (Qld)     HMO Customer Racing            Hyundai i30N         14 27:53.5572
  100 Russell Ingall (Qld)    Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            14 27:54.2496
   50 Tony D’Alberto (Vic)    Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   14 27:55.3037
   11 Nathan Morcom (NSW)     HMO Customer Racing            Hyundai i30N         14 27:55.6627
    8 Jason Bright (Vic)      Taskforce / Alliance Autosport Volkswagon Golf GTI  14 27:58.5358
10    3 Leanne Tander (Vic)     Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            14 28:04.2033
11    9 Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)    Ashley Seward Motorsport       Alfa Romeo Giulietta 14 28:04.4956
12   62 Alex Rullo (WA)         Kelly Racing                   Holden Astra         14 28:13.8381
13    2 Aaron Cameron (Vic)     Melbourne Performance Centre   Volkswagen Golf GTI  14 28:21.8609
DNF  37 Chelsea Angelo (Vic)    Kelly Racing                   Holden Astra          6 14:49.5155
DNF  35 Alexandra Whitley (Qld) Alliance Autosport             Volkswagon Golf GTI   2  4:44.4029