Nathan Morcom became the ninth different winner of the inaugural carsales TCR Australia Series as Hyundai signed-off the season in style at The Bend.
As Morcom claimed his first champagne for the season, Will Brown took a podium place with his sister Hyundai i30N to put the exclamation mark on his 2019 championship.
Chris Pither finally delivered on his season-long promise with second place in a Renault Megane RS, while the runner-up spot in the championship was decided when Aaron Cameron’s Volkswagen Golf – which he had driven to victory on Sunday morning – had a major engine drama.
So Tony D’Alberto’s fifth place in his Honda Civic Type R was good enough for second in the series.
“This is awesome. The crew gave me a fast car all weekend and we go it done,” says Morcom.
“We only had one last chance to get on the podium. We got it,” says Pither.
“We’ve had potential all year, which is only to be expected with a new car, so full credit to the whole Renault team to finish off the season like this.”
Brown, who was playing a dead rubber all weekend and doing double duty with S5000 single-seater racing, was predictably happy.
“How about that,” he says.
For Cameron, there was heartbreak after his breakthrough win.
“That’s the highest of highs and the lowest of lows,” he says.
“No boost. No turbo. Nothing I could do.
“I saw D’Alberto coming and tried to block him through the last corner, but he just pulled out and passed me.”
The Honda driver admits he was surprised to finish so well after a tough time with a car that was lacking straight-line speed.
“I didn’t think that was going to happen. But I’ll take it,” says D’Alberto.
“I felt sorry for Aaron because he did a good job all year. But I’m certainly happy to take second in the championship.”
Race 21 of the inaugural series provided surprises and dramas, as Russell Ingall’s Audi RS3 lost a spring from the rear suspension and James
Moffat’s Renault broke an engine mount for the second time of the weekend, while Andre Heimgartner delivered a solid fourth in an improving Holden Astra.
The TCR field will re-assemble in March for the Australian Grand Prix and Morcom is already looking forward to the 2020 season.
“This win has really set us up perfectly for next year,” he says.
The TCR Australia Series field will celebrate its first season this evening in Adelaide with a special post-season dinner.
Result: TCR Australia Series, Race 3
|1||11||HMO Customer Racing||Nathan Morcom (NSW)||Hyundai I30N||27:34.129|
|2||33||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Chris Pither (NZ)||Renault Megane RS||27:34.866|
|3||30||HMO Customer Racing||Will Brown (Qld)||Hyundai I30N||27:38.383|
|4||777||Kelly Racing||Andre Heimgartner (NZ)||Holden Astra||27:44.728|
|5||50||Wall Racing||Tony D’Alberto (Vic)||Honda Civic Type R||27:52.561|
|6||24||Wall Racing||John Martin (NSW)||Honda Civic Type R||27:54.385|
|7||8||Taskforce / Melb.Perf.Centre||Jason Bright (Vic)||Volkswagen Golf GTI||27:56.775|
|8||308||DG Sport||Aurelien Comte (FRA)||Peugeot 308||28:06.436|
|9||64||Garage 1||Tim Brook (NSW)||Cupra SEAT Leï¿½n 300||28:07.101|
|10||2||Melbourne Performance Centre||Aaron Cameron (Vic)||Volkswagen Golf GTI||28:07.193|
|11||35||Melbourne Performance Centre||Alexandra Whitley (Qld)||Volkswagen Golf GTI||28:08.679|
|12||3||Melbourne Performance Centre||Iain McDougall (Vic)||Audi RS 3||28:09.501|
|13||19||Milldun Motorsport||Matthew Simmons (Qld)||Subaru WRX STi||28:10.970|
|14||10||Ashley Seward Motorsport||James Allen (Vic)||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||29:24.561|
|15||27||Milldun Motorsport||Barton Mawer (NSW)||Subaru WRX STi||29:30.922|
|16||7||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Jordan Cox (NSW)||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||13:51.645|
|17||34||Garry Rogers Motorsport||James Moffat (Vic)||Renault Megane RS||7:58.7952|
|18||100||Melbourne Performance Centre||Russell Ingall (Qld)||Audi RS 3||6:56.6994|