Tony D’Alberto doubles up in Queensland to extend title lead
Following on from his maiden Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series victory yesterday, Tony D’Alberto has backed it up to take out Race 3 in the Honda Australia Wall Racing Civic Type R TCR.
It was another Honda 1-2 as Spicers Australia driver Zac Soutar moves to fourth in the standings after finishing second to D’Alberto as AWC MPC Racing’s Jay Hanson rounded out the podium in his Audi RS3 LMS TCR.
D’Alberto won the start as Hanson followed but the battle for third was interesting between the Spicers Australia Honda Civic Type R TCR of Zac Soutar and fellow privateer Luke King in the Moutai/ZIP PAY Hyundai i30 N TCR as the latter went sideways into the dirt.
As King recovered, Swyftx GRM Peugeot’s Jordan Cox and the MPC Team LIQUI MOLY Audi RS3 LMS TCR of Will Brown moved through to demote the Hyundai two positions. A lock up from Brown at Turn 3 amazingly resulted in no spins or the like as the Audi continued to hold on in fourth, though it compressed the pack.
D’Alberto continued to lead, but Hanson was closing and had Soutar for company leaving Brown to give chase to the lead three, so too Cox.
Behind Cox, King was fighting off the advances of HMO Customer Racing pair Bailey Sweeny and Josh Buchan, which allowed LMCT+ Racing GRM driver James Moffat in the Renault Megane RS TCR to close then split the Hyundai pair.
Sweeny and Moffat moved passed King as Buchan also investigated any opportunities, while privateer Michael Clemente was backing up his Race 2 performance to be inside the top 10, holding off Forza Brakes Motorsport’s Lachlan Mineeff competing in his first meeting with the Audi.
Although it appeared Hanson was catching D’Alberto, his attack cooled and allowed Soutar an opportunity through Turn 1, which was completed at the next corner to make it a Honda 1-2. Brown was also entering calculations despite a 5s post-race time penalty being applied for the opening lap incident.
Sweeny wasn’t done with his charge as he overtook Cox in a robust nature through Turn 6 and a few laps later the Swyftx GRM Peugeot was passed by stablemate Moffat in the Renault’s best showing since Bathurst.
Mineeff’s first weekend in the Audi ended in the Turn 2 gravel trap, but no safety car was called as just two laps remained.
However, nothing stopped D’Alberto as he took victory from Soutar, Hanson, Brown, Sweeny, Cox, King, Buchan, Clemente and Morcom.
What followed was a tail of woe for the GRM Peugeot entries as Dylan O’Keeffe was 11th from Ben Bargwanna and Aaron Cameron finished 15th as he was involved the with sister Valvoline Renault of Kody Garland.
A problem for Moffat dropped him to 16th, while Autoglym Ashley Seward Motorsport’s Michael Caruso failed to make it out as the team endeavoured to complete an engine change prior to the event, but just fell short.
D’Alberto takes a 58-point lead to Sandown where the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series continues with the SpeedSeries on September 16-18.