Brown Brilliant in Frantic Queensland Finale
MPC Team LIQUI MOLY’s Will Brown has capped off a brilliant weekend in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series by claiming victory in the final race as chaos reigned behind.
Brown had to navigate a one lap shootout after a late race Safety Car, putting almost a second on Aaron Cameron’s Team Valvoline GRM Peugeot to put an exclamation mark on his dominant weekend.
It was an even start off the front row between Brown and Tony D’Alberto, though Aaron Cameron made a great start from fourth in the Team Valvoline GRM Peugeot, and jumped to the inside of D’Alberto, leaving the reigning champion on the high line into turn one.
D’Alberto dropped back to fourth as Cameron’s Garry Rogers Motorsport stablemate Jordan Cox made his way to third off the start, as D’Alberto was left to battle with the Honda of Race Two winner Brad Harris in fourth.
D’Alberto lunged at his Wall Racing stablemate into turn three, but clattered into Cox’s Peugeot, triggering a chain of events that led to the retirement of the Schaeffler GRM entry, whilst D’Alberto was hit with a ten second penalty for his move.
As Cox struggled with his damaged car, Harris had a moment of his own entering turn four, leaving Cox with nowhere to go before the Peugeot was fired off the road by championship leader Josh Buchan’s Hyundai i30 Sedan N.
The Safety Car was deployed for the first time this weekend, as Zac Soutar also came into the pit lane with yet another driveshaft failure, continuing a frustrating season for the Team Soutar Motorsport Audi.
Brown had control of the field when the green flag came out on lap six, and promptly began to drive off into the setting Queensland sun, as D’Alberto set about trying to minimise the damage his ten second penalty would inflict.
The Honda Wall Racing pilot put in an aggressive defensive drive, putting Ben Bargwanna’s Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot into the grass in a wild exchange on the run to turn three on lap twelve, attempting in vain to defend fourth place.
Bargwanna’s charge was abruptly halted on lap fifteen when he developed a problem that drained all the pace out of the Peugeot, the Victorian plummeting to the rear of the field.
Brown had nearly six seconds in hand over Cameron when the Safety Car was called for the second time on lap eighteen after Kody Garland’s miserable weekend ended in retirement on the side of the track entering turn six, setting up the one lap dash.
Rounding out the podium behind Brown and Cameron was the Exclusive Switchboards / Wall Racing Honda of Brad Harris, who completed his best ever weekend in TCR Australia with a sterling performance.
D’Alberto finished fourth on road, but was demoted to tenth and the final classified runner with his penalty, promoting the Lynk & Co of Tim Slade into fourth, with Bailey Sweeny rounding out the top five for HMO Customer Racing.
Sweeny’s teammate Josh Buchan was right behind in sixth, and was able to maintain his championship lead, though there is now one point separating the two Hyundai’s in an extremely tight TCR Australia championship battle.
The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series returns to the track at Round Six of the Shannons SpeedSeries at Sandown International Raceway from September 8-10.
You can catch all the action live, ad-break free, and on demand on Stan Sport.