Garth Tander added two new names to the winner’s list with a come-from-behind victory in the first of three carsales TCR Australian Series races at The Bend Motorsport Park today.
The former Supercars and Bathurst 1000 champion put himself and Audi onto the honour role with a confident run to victory, despite a half-spin that dropped him back to fourth at the midway point of the 30-minute contest.
TCR Australia Series leader Will Brown was the stand-out as he dashed from 16th on the grid to second at the finish in his Hyundai i30 N, helped by a penalty to early leader and category debutant Jordan Cox in a Honda.
Cox ran second on the opening lap but bumped the pole-sitting Renault Megane of James Moffat off the circuit, incurring a 10 second time penalty. Cox was eventually classified seventh.
Cox’s Honda team-mates Tony D’Alberto and John Martin both endured difficult races. D’Alberto led the opening few corners, only top spear off the circuit. He fought back to eighth overall.
Martin was also in contention for a podium, but an errant piece of bodywork from Alex Rullo’s Holden Astra became wedged in his front grill, overheating the engine of his Civic Type R. Martin crossed the line in third place.
Volkswagen Golf driver Aaron Cameron finished third, and in doing so, moved up to third in the series standings.
Series contender Dylan O’Keeffe had a disappointing race, with a turbo failure putting him on the sidelines three laps from the finish. He was running in the top five at the time.
Engine issues halted the progress of the two Subarus of Andre Heimgartner and Molly Taylor, while Jason Bright (VW Golf) and Chelsea Angelo (Holden Astra) both suffered tyre blow outs from debris on the circuit.
Tomorrow will feature two more TCR Australia Series races, with Race 2 kicking off at 12:45pm Adelaide time, and the third race at 1:50pm.