HMO Customer Racing’s Will Brown fought past Dylan O’Keeffe in the second TCR Australia race at Sydney Motorsport Park to claim victory in a closely fought second race.
At the start it was O’Keeffe who proved to be the man to watch in the fast-starting Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce, as he powered past a slow-starting Jason Bright to move into second at the first corner, immediately followed by taking the lead from Tony D’Alberto at Turn 3.
O’Keefee then opened up a comfortable margin over D’Alberto in the opening laps, with the Wall Racing Honda driver coming under pressure in turn from the Hyundai of Brown.
Brown made his move on D’Alberto on the third lap, superbly passing the experienced Honda driver around the outside at Turn 2 and the inside of Turn 3.
Over the next four laps, Brown set about reducing O’Keefee’s two-second advantage and by lap seven the duo were nose-to-tail, with Brown applying pressure continuously to the race leader.
A two-lap safety car period on laps nine and ten proved to be crucial, and when racing resumed on lap 11 Brown kept up the pressure on O’Keeffe before finding his gap two laps later on lap 13 at Turn 5, taking the lead from the Alfa Romeo.
Brown did not face a fightback from O’Keefee and scored victory for Hyundai in the second race of the season, with D’Alberto completing the podium.
Race one winner Bright brought his Alliance Autosport Volkswagen home in fourth, ahead of Kelly Racing’s Andre Heimgartner in fifth, who had hauled his Subaru past the second Wall Racing Honda of John Martin immediately after the safety car phase at Turn 2.
GWR’s Michael Almond took seventh on the final lap of the race, passing fellow Hyundai driver Nathan Morcom just corners from the chequered flag, leaving Morcom to take eighth.
Jimmy Vernon brought the second GRM Alfa home in ninth, whilst Melbourne Performance’s Aaron Cameron completed the top ten after close battling with Morcom and Almond towards the end of the race.
Dutchman Rik Breukers just missed out on the top ten in 11th, the Audi driver having picked up damage to his car’s steering early on in the race and slipping down the order as a result.
The early safety car period resulted when Alexandra Whitley went off the road in ehr Volkswagen, getting beached in the gravel and requiring a tow in order to continue.
Chris Pither was the race’s only retirement, the New Zealander pulling his Renault into the pits after 13 laps with technical issues.
Race three gets underway at 14:15 local time (06:15 CEST, 05:15 BST).
|1||30||Will BROWN||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||27:02.7868||1:34.844||3|
|2||9||Dylan O’KEEFFE||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||16||3.1600||1:35.792||4|
|3||50||Tony D’ALBERTO||Honda Civic Type R TCR||16||4.1626||1:36.468||2|
|4||8||Jason BRIGHT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||16||4.5661||1:36.344||1|
|5||777||Andre HEIMGARTNER||Subaru WRX STi||16||7.9766||1:36.541||10|
|6||24||John MARTIN||Honda Civic Type R TCR||16||8.4398||1:36.211||6|
|7||29||Michael ALMOND||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||9.1337||1:36.841||15|
|8||11||Nathan MORCOM||Hyundai i30 N TCR||16||10.0366||1:36.901||9|
|9||7||Jimmy VERNON||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||16||15.9455||1:36.911||16|
|10||16||Aaron CAMERON||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||16||16.2216||1:36.637||7|
|11||22||Rik BREUKERS||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||16||16.5285||1:36.988||5|
|12||34||James MOFFAT||Renault Mégane RS TCR||16||16.9214||1:36.962||17|
|13||62||Alex RULLO||Holden Astra TCR||16||17.4321||1:37.346||11|
|14||37||Chelsea ANGELO||Holden Astra TCR||16||21.2551||1:37.960||12|
|15||6||Molly TAYLOR||Subaru WRX STi||16||22.2462||1:37.550||14|
|16||35||Alexandra WHITLEY||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||15||+ 1 LAP||1:37.659||13|
|R||33||Chris PITHER||Renault Mégane RS TCR||13||DNF||1:36.801||8|