Championship leader Will Brown banked another 40 points towards a title with a rampaging run to victory in the second of three carsales TCR Australia Series races at Tailem Bend.
Brown launched his Hyundai i30 N into the race lead at the start of the 14-lap contest and was never threatened, as his race rivals managed to turn the race into a crash fest and triggered two periods behind the safety car.
Veteran Garth Tander drove well for second and James Moffat, who was punted by Brown during practice on Friday and spun by rookie Jordan Cox on Saturday, finished a happy third.
The nearest anyone got to Brown was when he over-cooked a re-start and slid wide onto the start-finish straight, but no-one was close enough to pounce.
“It was a rookie error. But I got away with it,” Brown said.
There was no such luck for Chris Pither, who punted himself out of second place when he failed to re-trim his braking balance on a re-start and his Renault Megane turned sharply into a concrete wall at Turn 1.
John Martin and Tony D’Alberto were hoping to capitalise on the carnage in their Honda Civic Type Rs, but both reported a lack of straight-line speed and were only fourth and ninth.
“There was nothing I could do. I could tow up behind them but I couldn’t get past,” Martin said.
“We’re struggling in a straight line,” was D’Alberto’s comment.
The 19-car field was cut to 18 when Andre Heimgartner failed to resume the racing after an engine failure on Saturday, while Molly Taylor’s similar Subaru was sidelined with fuel pressure problem.
The grid for the final race of the weekend is likely to be filled with battle-scarred cars and drivers intent on a comeback run, but Brown is still clearly the driver to beat with Tander alongside him on the front row.
RESULTS, RACE 2
|1||30||William Brown (Qld)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||11||27:26.4026|
|2||4||Garth Tander (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||11||27:27.0592|
|3||34||James Moffat (Vic)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||11||27:27.5833|
|4||24||John Martin (NSW)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||11||27:27.9851|
|5||38||Jordan Cox (NSW)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||11||27:28.3875|
|6||100||Russell Ingall (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||11||27:31.8636|
|7||11||Nathan Morcom (NSW)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||11||27:31.9996|
|8||3||Leanne Tander (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||11||27:33.1281|
|9||50||Tony D’Alberto (Vic)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||11||27:34.4159|
|10||9||Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||11||27:35.0451|
|11||8||Jason Bright (Vic)||Taskforce / Alliance Autosport||Volkswagon Golf GTI||11||27:38.2100|
|12||37||Chelsea Angelo (Vic)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||11||28:17.8474|
|DNF||2||Aaron Cameron (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagen Golf GTI||10||25:34.2234|
|DNF||33||Chris Pither (NZ)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||9||23:28.9448|
|DNF||7||Jimmy Vernon (NSW)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||6||14:53.0377|
|DNF||62||Alex Rullo (WA)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||6||21:18.7856|
|DNF||6||Molly Taylor (NSW)||Kelly Racing||Subaru WRX STi||2||15:42.0178|
|DNF||35||Alexandra Whitley (Qld)||Alliance Autosport||Volkswagon Golf GTI|