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 sprints at Tailem Bend.
‘GT’ 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 championship leader Will Brown was the stand-out as he dashed from 16th on the grid to second at the finish in his Hyundai i30N, helped by a penalty to early leader Jordan Cox in a Honda, with Aaron Cameron third in a Volkswagen Golf.
“It was an awesome race. It’s a good day,” Tander said after his victory.
“It was really challenging when it started raining on the first lap. At the end it started sprinkling again so I just brought it home.”
Brown was the stand-out as he moved confidently through the field, although he took too much out of his tyres and had no answer to Tander at the finish. On the first lap alone he went from 16th to sixth.
“It was a pretty exciting race,” he said.
“I knew lap one was the one to get through, so I made some big moves and got up there.”
Cameron saw plenty of the action in a race which was torrid from front to back, including Cox tapping pole-sitter James Moffat into a spin with his Renault Megane which brought an early safety car.
“There were people going everywhere,” he reported.
Cox held the lead for much of the race as others see-sawed through the leading pack, earning praise from Tander despite his penalty.
“He drove awesome in the early part of the race,” Tander said.
The big losers over the 30-minute battle were the Honda Civics of front-row starter Tony D’Alberto, who spun on the first lap, and John Martin, who slowed towards the finish with a lack of straight-line speed.
Moffat also failed to feature, guest driver Russell Ingall never really got into gear, Leanne Tander was involved in body contact and then got a penalty, while Jason Bright parked his Volkswagen Golf with two flat tyres.
RESULTS, RACE 1
|1||4||Garth Tander (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||12||27:52.7479|
|2||30||William Brown (Qld)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||12||27:53.7487|
|3||2||Aaron Cameron (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagen Golf GTI||12||27:54.1324|
|4||24||John Martin (NSW)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||12||28:00.1778|
|5||11||Nathan Morcom (NSW)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||12||28:01.5733|
|6||33||Chris Pither (NZ)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||12||28:02.2104|
|7||38||Jordan Cox (NSW)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||12||28:02.9404|
|8||50||Tony D’Alberto (Vic)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||12||28:13.8285|
|9||34||James Moffat (Vic)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||12||28:15.6097|
|10||62||Alex Rullo (WA)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||12||28:17.2174|
|11||100||Russell Ingall (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||12||28:20.7896|
|12||35||Alexandra Whitley (Qld)||Alliance Autosport||Volkswagon Golf GTI||12||28:21.6509|
|13||3||Leanne Tander (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||12||28:21.9942|
|14||7||Jimmy Vernon (NSW)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||12||28:24.5659|
|15||6||Molly Taylor (NSW)||Kelly Racing||Subaru WRX STi||12||29:13.1600|
|DNF||8||Jason Bright (Vic)||Taskforce / Alliance Autosport||Volkswagon Golf GTI||11||26:40.3498|
|DNF||9||Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||9||22:21.0849|
|DNF||777||Andre Heimgartner (NZ)||Kelly Racing||Subaru WRX STi||8||20:05.6327|
|DNF||37||Chelsea Angelo (Vic)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||5||14:41.5306|