Young Will Brown reinforced his class and commitment with a rampaging run to victory in the first of three carsales TCR Australia Series sprints at The Bend.
Brown is already the series champion but is not releasing his choker hold on the championship, running home an easy winner ahead of Aaron Cameron and Tony D’Alberto in the first of three 14-lap sprints in South Australia.
Brown’s job was made easier when Dylan O’Keefe, who was set to start from pole position, was still parked in the pits for steering repairs to his Alfa Giulietta when the race began.
He was under early pressure in his Hyundai i30N, but quickly gapped D’Alberto in second with his Honda Civic Type R as Cameron went forward through the closing laps.
There were plenty of incidents, as Liam McAdam crashed his Audi into Chelsea Angelo’s Holden Astra on the opening lap to trigger a safety car.
The incident has seen McAdam docked 40 series points for reckless driving.
Nathan Morcom lost the left-right wheel from his Hyundai, and Bart Mawer damaged the rear suspension on his Subaru WRX after an unsuccessful lunge at Ian McDougall in an Audi on the final lap.
“We came here wanting to win races and have fun,” says Brown.
“I wouldn’t say it was easy, but I made a great start and was able to go on from there.”
Cameron pushed hard for second as he is also challenging for the runner-up spot in the TCR series, running down D’Alberto.
“I had a good race with Tony. The car is fast and there is more in it, so I’ll have another go tomorrow,” says Cameron.
“I had a reasonable start, but the car really never really switched on from there. We’ve got a bit of work to do,” says D’Alberto.
His Honda team mate John Martin was one of the drivers to push steadily forward, finishing sixth from the back of the grid, as James Moffat also moved up to ninth after breaking an engine mount in qualifying and gamer-racer Matt Simmons finished 12th from the tail in a Subaru WRX.
Brown’s list of successes now runs to seven wins and 12 podiums from 19 TCR starts, with two more races on Sunday.