Jay Hanson dominates opening Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series race at Phillip Island
AWC MPC Racing driver Jay Hanson has successfully converted his maiden pole into a second Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series victory to kick off Round 2 at Phillip Island.
Hanson led from the second lap to take a 1.71s win from Swyftx GRM driver Jordan Cox and Schaeffler GRM’s Dylan O’Keeffe.
It was Michael Caruso leading in the Autoglym Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR, who led into Turn 1 as both the Challenge Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR of Iain McDougall and Kody Garland driving the Team Valvoline GRM Renault Megane R.S. stalled on the line.
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Caruso continued to lead until Hanson in the latest specification Audi RS3 LMS TCR overtook the Alfa Romeo along the front straight and continued to build a margin.
Meanwhile, Caruso had his hands full as the Forza Brakes Motorsport Audi of Liam McAdam, Cox and O’Keeffe piled on the pressure.
It all came to a head on lap 4 when at Turn 4 under brakes contact was made by McAdam to spin Caruso out of contention, which led to a penalty.
Action towards the back end of the top 10 involved Honda Wall Racing’s Tony D’Alberto and MPC Team LIQUI MOLY Will Brown made contact, which was only the start for the inaugural series winner as he was forced to return to the pits following further contact.
Contact with Brown forced HMO Customer Racing’s Nathan Morcom out as the sister Hyundai i30 N TCR of series leader Josh Buchan also dropped out after damage was caused to his entry as well.
At the front, Hanson continued to hold a comfortable 2.5s lead from Cox, O’Keeffe, the Stan Sport Wall Racing Honda of Fabian Coulthard and Privateer Zac Soutar in his Spicers Civic Type R TCR.
In an impressive performance, Lachlan Mineeff was bettering his debut top 10 from last year by running seventh, but had the Team Valvoline GRM Peugeot 308 TCR of Aaron Cameron closing. On lap 11, Cameron succeeded in taking the position.
With three laps remaining, Cox was closing in on Hanson as he cut the margin to 1.2s, though the young Audi driver responded to steady the gap.
Meanwhile, Cameron continued to climb the field as he displaced D’Alberto to be sixth behind Soutar.
Behind the top three, Coulthard took his best result in fourth ahead of Soutar, Cameron, D’Alberto, Mineeff, returnee Michael Clemente and Ben Bargwanna in the Burson Auto Parts Peugeot 308 TCR completed the top 10.
Tomorrow’s Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series event at Phillip Island continues with Race 2 at 1:05pm AEDT live and uninterrupted on Stan Sport.
The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia field will contest two 16-lap races at Phillip Island tomorrow forming the opening event for the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships together with the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS and Turtle Wax Trans Am Series.
Tickets for the event are on sale now and must be pre-purchased. CLICK HERE to secure your place at Phillip Island.
Live and on-demand coverage will be broadcast via Stan Sport, with six hours of coverage over on Sunday, starting at 11am AEDT. Viewers outside of Australia can watch free on motorsport.tv.