Aaron Cameron dominates opening race at Bathurst
Valvoline Team GRM’s Aaron Cameron has led a Peugeot 1-2-3 in the first race of Round 3 for the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series at Bathurst.
Cameron shared the front-row with fellow GRM Peugeot drive Ben Bargwanna following a penalty to Jordan Cox imposed due to impeding Will Brown during qualifying.
However, Cox made a position from Stan Sport Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR driver Tim Slade as he fell into sixth behind James Moffat in the LMCT+ Racing GRM Renault Megane R.S. TCR.
Cameron took the lead into Turn 1 and soon gapped his chasing Peugeot teammates to the tune of 1.5s as Bargwanna held off Dylan O’Keeffe and Cox, while best of the rest Moffat was a further 1.5s behind.
LIQUI MOLY Team MPC’s Will Brown demoted Slade a spot to seventh as HMO Customer Racing’s Bailey Sweeny intensified the pressure on the debutant in the lead Hyundai i30 N TCR, which is represented by a record equalling five entries this weekend.
Behind Sweeny, Honda Australia Wall Racing’s Tony D’Alberto was in eight and fighting off the advances from the second HMO Customer Racing Hyundai of former series winner Josh Buchan.
Both were holding off the repaired Autoglym Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR of Michael Caruso, with the Ashley Seward Motorsport team replacing the front right following his qualifying incident.
Caruso was in the box seat to take pole position for Race 2 due to the inverted grid format, however Royal Purple Racing’s Brad Shiels was piling on the pressure.
A twist came for Cox as he was forced to retire on lap 4, parking his Peugeot exiting The Cutting.
Meanwhile, Cameron had extended his lead to 3.2s from Bargwanna, O’Keeffe as Brown held down fourth from Moffat, Slade, Sweeny, D’Alberto, Buchan and Caruso, who had broken away from Shiels.
In the end, it was Valvoline Team GRM’s Cameron taking his first win of the season from Bargwanna and O’Keeffe making it a Peugeot lockout in the opening race.
Brown followed the lead trio from Moffat, Slade, D’Alberto, Buchan and Sweeny, who dropped position on the final lap as Caruso rounded out the top 10, so therefore will start from pole in Race 2.
The second Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series race of the day and weekend will commence at 5:10pm AEST live and uninterrupted on Stan Sport.