Oliphant adds name to TCR winners list
Autoglym / Ashley Seward Motorsport’s Tom Oliphant has become the first international winner in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series since Nestor Girolami at Sandown in 2019 after claiming a lights to flag win in Race 2 at Hi-Tec Oils Race Winton.
Yesterday’s light-to-flag race winner Michael Clemente could not have had a more contrasting Race 2, failing to make the grid as his Cupra Leon Competition wouldn’t fire in the pits.
Reverse grid pole-sitter Oliphant got a great start in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta to head the now thirteen-car field into turn one, whilst Clay Richards fell under pressure from Ben Bargwanna, who had made a great start from fourth to put pressure on second-placed Richards.
Richards held tough in his Shannons Insurance MPC Audi, with Bargwanna slotting into third in his Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot.
The race quickly settled down into a rhythm, with the top six of Oliphant, Richards, Bargwanna, Jordan Cox, Josh Buchan, and Lachlan Mineeff all covered by three seconds for the first half of the race.
The gap between Oliphant and Richards in first and second see-sawed around the one second range for the majority of the race, however the British Touring Car Championship race winner always had the answers.
Richards meanwhile had his own battles to worry about, first with Bargwanna, then with Bargwanna’s Garry Rogers Motorsport stablemate Jordan Cox, who had great late race pace, moving past Bargwanna with ease.
However Cox’s pace was all for nought, as he lost what seemed an almost certain podium with an uncharacteristic spin at turn seven on lap fifteen, plummeting to the tail of the field.
Cox’s error let Richards off the hook, with Buchan’s Hyundai i30N Sedan inheriting third, finishing just over four and a half seconds behind Oliphant’s Alfa Romeo.
Mineeff took a fine fourth in the Purple Sector Audi RS3 LMS SEQ, ahead of points leader Bailey Sweeny in his Hyundai i30N TCR, with reigning champion Tony D’Alberto taking sixth in his Honda Civic FK7 TCR.
Zac Soutar took seventh, followed by the hard-charging Aaron Cameron who started from the rear of the grid, with Bargwanna and series returnee Iain McDougall rounding out the top ten.
The third and final race for the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series begins at 4:10pm.
You can catch all the action live, ad-break free, and on demand on Stan Sport.