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O’Keeffe doubles up as Tanders collide in Race 2

Tom Howard

Sunday 9th June, 2019 - 2:03pm

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Dylan O’Keeffe

Dylan O’Keeffe scored a comfortable victory after coming through an incident-filled TCR Australia Race 2 that saw Garth and Leanne Tander clash at Phillip Island. 

Saturday’s winner was once again in a class of his own taking the win by 6.2s in his Alfa Romeo from HMO Customer Racing’s Will Brown.

O’Keeffe briefly lost the lead to a stunning move by Brown on Lap 2 but a mistake later in the lap saw the lead change hands.

Once in front, O’Keeffe powered on to victory from Brown with Hamish Ribarits (Melbourne Performance Centre, Audi) completing the podium.  

The race opened with a wild opening lap featuring two high profile incidents as polesitter O’Keeffe (ASM, Alfa Romeo) led Brown (HMO Customer Racing, Hyundai) into Turn 1.

However, it all kicked off behind as Moffat, who started third ran wide at Turn 1 which sent his Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault spinning across the track.

Andre Heimgartner attempted to avoid the car but was hit by Garth Tander (Melbourne Performance Centre, Audi) in the rear, which sent the Kiwi off the road and out of the race.

The action continued at Turn 4 as the damaged Audi of Garth Tander was then involved in a three car incident. 

Tander and Aaron Cameron (Melbourne Performance Centre, Volkswagen) made contact which then fired Tander’s Audi into the sister car driven by his wife Leanne Tander.

The two Audis returned to the pits with Leanne able to rejoin while Garth was forced into retirement. Cameron was able to rejoin at the back of the pack.

Racing continued without stoppage and the focus switched to battle for the lead.

Brown pulled off an impressive move to grab the lead from O’Keeffe at Turn 1 on Lap 2 but his advantage was short-lived.

The Hyundai driver ran wide at Turn 4 allowing O’Keeffe back into the lead.     

Ribarits was the big winner of the opening lap chaos involving his Melbourne Performance Centre team-mates to claim third after passing Tony D’Alberto (Wall Racing, Honda). 

The race settled down on Lap 3 with O’Keeffe edging away from Brown at the front.

D’Alberto continued fade as the race went on before suffering a right front puncture while occupying seventh fired him off the road at Turn 2.

His Honda team-mate inherited fourth but he too was forced back to the pits with five laps remaining with a right front puncture, which the team believed was down to debris on the circuit.

Chris Pither (Garry Rogers Motorsport, Renault) took over fourth but he soon came under pressure from Nathan Morcom (HMO Customer Racing, Hyundai).

Morcom’s pace proved too much for Pither who surrendered fourth to the former Super2 driver.

Kelly Racing’s Alex Rullo ran strongly to come home in fifth after passing Pither late on the race.

Cameron recovered from the opening lap incident to finish seventh ahead of Jimmy Vernon (Garry Rogers Motorsport, Alfa Romeo).

After earlier contact between the pair, Alexandra Whitley (Alliance Autosport, Volkswagen) passed Moffat on the final lap to take ninth.

Rally ace Molly Taylor scored her best finish of the season to date in 11th, while Race 1 winner at Sydney Motorsport Park, Jason Bright, retired with a mechanical issue.   

TCR Australia Race 3 is scheduled to start at 1420 AEST.

Results: TCR Australia Race 2, Phillip Island

1     9  Ashley Seward Motorsport       Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)    Alfa Romeo Giulietta 16 26:21.9600 
2    30  HMO Customer Racing            William Brown (Qld)     Hyundai i30N         16 26:28.2019 
3    22  Melbourne Performance Centre   Hamish Ribarits (Vic)   Audi RS 3            16 26:29.0718 
4    11  HMO Customer Racing            Nathan Morcom (NSW)     Hyundai i30N         16 26:42.7799 
5    62  Kelly Racing                   Alex Rullo (WA)         Holden Astra         16 26:43.2560 
6    33  Garry Rogers Motorsport        Chris Pither (NZ)       Renault Megane RS    16 26:43.8927 
7     2  Melbourne Performance Centre   Aaron Cameron (Vic)     Volkswagen Golf GTI  16 26:44.8970 
8     7  Garry Rogers Motorsport        Jimmy Vernon (NSW)      Alfa Romeo Giulietta 16 26:52.3155 
9    35  Alliance Autosport             Alexandra Whitley (Qld) Volkswagon Golf GTI  16 27:15.9545 
10   34  Garry Rogers Motorsport        James Moffat (Vic)      Renault Megane RS    16 27:16.1621 
11    6  Kelly Racing                   Molly Taylor (NSW)      Subaru WRX STi       16 27:16.3143 
12   37  Kelly Racing                   Chelsea Angelo (Vic)    Holden Astra         16 28:07.0166 
13    3  Melbourne Performance Centre   Leanne Tander (Vic)     Audi RS 3            15 27:43.5161 
14   24  Wall Racing                    John Martin (NSW)       Honda Civic Type R   14 26:54.9634 
15   50  Wall Racing                    Tony D’Alberto (Vic)    Honda Civic Type R   13 27:45.3887 
DNF 777  Kelly Racing                   Andre Heimgartner (NZ)  Subaru WRX STi        1  2:15.0301 
DNF   4  Melbourne Performance Centre   Garth Tander (Vic)      Audi RS 3           
DNF   8  Taskforce / Alliance Autosport Jason Bright (Vic)      Volkswagon Golf GTI 

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