Nathan Morcom leads HMO Customer Racing 1-2 in Race 3
Capping off a strong performance all weekend HMO Customer Racing led by Nathan Morcom took the final race win from teammate Josh Buchan at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Recovering from a five place grid penalty prior to Race 1, Morcom took the lead from Jordan Cox on the opening lap and held on despite pressure from initially Luke King before a storming drive from Buchan towards the conclusion.
King held third for a majority of the race, but was pipped by Cox on the final lap.
It was a frantic opening to the final Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series as Swyftx GRM’s Cox started from pole and led the field until Turn 6 when HMO Customer Racing’s Morcom moved through as did Moutai/ZIP PAY’s King in their Hyundai i30 N TCRs.
Challenge Motorsport Audi driver Iain McDougall failed to get off the line quickly, but there were many victims in the opening stanza.
One was the Autoglym Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR of Michael Caruso with a split rim, Stan Sport Wall Racing’s Fabian Coulthard was spun at the penultimate corner in his Honda Civic Type R TCR and there was friendly fire at GRM as James Moffat clashed with Ben Bargwanna at Turn 6.
The contact forced the LMCT+ Racing GRM Renault Megane RS TCR into retirement.
Most importantly though, Tony D’Alberto dropped through the field after contact with Royal Purple Racing’s Brad Shiels bent the steering in his Honda Australia Wall Racing Civic Type R TCR.
Morcom continued to hold the lead by 0.9s from King, Josh Buchan in a Hyundai podium lockout as Cox maintained fourth ahead of GRM Schaeffler stablemate Dylan O’Keeffe in his Peugeot 308 TCR.
AWC MPC Racing’s Jay Hanson was pushing hard in his Audi RS3 LMS TCR after teammate Brown let him through to pursue the top five.
Valvoline Team GRM’s Aaron Cameron was eighth, but was under pressure from the Motul Honda Civic Type R TCR of Michael Clemente and Bailey Sweeny in the final HMO Customer Racing Hyundai, which also rounded out the top 10.
Bargwanna was running 11th after a difficult weekend from Kody Garland enjoying his best run of the season just behind as Shiels led fellow privateer Zac Soutar in the Spicers Australia Honda Civic Type R TCR.
At the front, there was a change as Buchan snatched second off King at Turn 2 as the battle for round honours was heating up.
Cameron meanwhile had been demoted by Clemente, Sweeny, Bargwanna and Garland to be running 12th.
Further back, contact between Purple Sector’s Lachlan Mineeff and the Alfa Romeo of Braydan Willmington enabling many behind including D’Alberto to gain a position as a 10s penalty was given to the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR driver post-race.
In what was turning into an HMO Customer Racing domination as Buchan quickly caught Morcom and was pressuring his teammate, but he held on by 0.5s.
Cox stole the final podium slot from King on the final lap ahead of O’Keeffe, Brown, Hanson, Clemente, Sweeny and Bargwanna.
Scoring his best result for the season, Garland took 11th from Cameron, Shiels, Soutar, Coulthard, D’Alberto, McDougall, Mineeff and Caruso.
The next round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series at Queensland Raceway on August 5-7 as D’Alberto continues to lead the title by 22-points from O’Keeffe.