Dylan O’Keefe drove away from the crashes and carnage to score his maiden carsales TCR Australia Series win at Phillip Island.
After qualifying on pole, the Alfa Romeo driver romped away from the grid and only had to manage his gap to the pack, avoiding a challenge during a pair of Safety Car periods, to finish ahead of Will Brown in a Hyundai i30 N and James Moffat in a Renault Megane.
The finishing order was no reflection of the battles in the pack, as Brown went from second to 16th with a Turn 2 mishap and then drove back through the field to overtake Moffat within sight of the chequered flag.
Tony D’Alberto looked like a contender on the first lap but his Honda Civic Type R faded during the race, while Garth Tander was the action man as he finished fifth after a series of touch-ups in his Audi RS3 including contact with Jason Bright’s Volkswagen Golf.
Subaru WRX driver Andre Heimgartner looked racey from the start but got tagged by Bright, was involved in a multi-car pile-up that triggered a Safety Car, and finished in a Subaru WRX that needs new left-side panels.
Among the non-finishers were Molly Taylor in the second Subaru, whose engine stopped, and Chelsea Angelo, who had brake failure in her Holden Astra.
Race 2 and 3 of carsales TCR Australia Series will return tomorrow, with the live broadcast on SBS starting at 1pm AEST.
1 9 Dylan O’Keeffe Alfa Romeo Giulietta
2 30 William Brown Hyundai i30N
3 34 James Moffat Renault Megane RS
4 50 Tony D’Alberto Honda Civic Type R
5 4 Garth Tander Audi RS 3
6 22 Hamish Ribartis Audi RS 3
7 62 Alex Rullo Holden Astra
8 33 Chris Pither Renault Megane RS
9 3 Leanne Tander Audi RS 3
10 777 Andre Heimgartner Subaru WRX STi
11 35 Alexandra Whitley Volkswagon Golf GTI
12 2 Aaron Cameron Volkswagon Golf GTI
13 24 John Martin Honda Civic Type R
DNF 37 Chelsea Angelo Holden Astra
DNF 6 Molly Taylor Subaru WRX STi
DNF 8 Jason Bright Volkswagon Golf GTI
DNF 7 Jimmy Vernon Alfa Romeo Giulietta
DNF 11 Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30N