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21 September 2019 | News

Argentinian continues brilliant TCR form at Sandown

Nestor Girolami was unflappable and unbeatable as the Argentinian import claimed his first carsales TCR Australia Series win at Sandown Park.

The factory Honda driver started from pole position on a slimy track, as most drivers left the grid with slick front tyres and wets on the back, and avoided the early bumping to build an unbeatable lead of more than two seconds.

Will Brown battled up to second with his Hyundai i30N, overtaking the second Honda of John Martin, but ran out of time and had to settle for the runner-up spot ahead of youngster Jordan Cox who took his first podium with an Alfa Romeo.

Even though he romped to victory, Girolami said conditions were tough and he could never relax.

“It wasn’t easy. I controlled the pace until Will Brown got to P2, then I had to try 100 per cent, or maybe 90, to stay ahead,” he says.

“I knew he was quicker. But it was ok.”

Brown was forced to consider his championship lead as he battled for position, but eventually the youngster gave in to temptation.

“I had the pace but took too long to get to second,” Brown says.

“I had a good battle at the start. I was thinking about the championship but then I decided to go for it. I just couldn’t catch the fella.”

For Cox, his first podium could be the first of many.

“It’s eyes forward from here,” he says.

Andre Heimgartner was the biggest casualty of the race, as a steering arm snapped on his Holden Astra while he was in the leading battle pack.

“It started to wobble all over the place, then it just snapped. Now we have to look to get something back from tomorrow,” he says.

The TCR series resumes with back-to-back sprints at Sandown tomorrow.

Results: TCR Australia Race 1, Sandown

Pos Num Driver Team Car Laps Time
   38 Nestor Girolami (ARG)   Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   20 26:00.7271
   30 William Brown (Qld)     HMO Customer Racing            Hyundai i30N         20 26:02.9497
    7 Jordan Cox (NSW)        Garry Rogers Motorsport        Alfa Romeo Giulietta 20 26:10.9174
    3 Garth Tander (Vic)      Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            20 26:12.5411
   24 John Martin (NSW)       Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   20 26:15.6835
   97 Liam McAdam (Qld)       Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            20 26:15.9660
   34 James Moffat (Vic)      Garry Rogers Motorsport        Renault Megane RS    20 26:16.2825
    9 Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)    Ashley Seward Motorsport       Alfa Romeo Giulietta 20 26:20.4079
    2 Aaron Cameron (Vic)     Melbourne Performance Centre   Volkswagen Golf GTI  20 26:21.3056
10   11 Nathan Morcom (NSW)     HMO Customer Racing            Hyundai i30N         20 26:36.7466
11   33 Chris Pither (NZ)       Garry Rogers Motorsport        Renault Megane RS    20 26:38.1914
12  100 Russell Ingall (Qld)    Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            20 27:00.7018
13   62 Bryce Fullwood (NT)     Kelly Racing                   Holden Astra         20 27:09.5344
14   35 Alexandra Whitley (Qld) Melbourne Performance Centre   Volkswagon Golf GTI  20 27:15.5164
15   50 Tony D’Alberto (Vic)    Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   20 27:19.4446
DNF   8 Jason Bright (Vic)      Taskforce/Melb Performance Cnt Volkswagon Golf GTI  14 18:38.9701
DNF 777 Andre Heimgartner (NZ)  Kelly Racing                   Holden Astra          4  5:40.7907