Nathan Morcom became the ninth different race winner of the 2019 TCR Australia Series following an unpredictable season finale.
Rising through the field as those around him struck trouble, Morcom (Hyundai i30N) charged from sixth on the grid to claim the top step of the podium.
A sluggish start saw Aaron Cameron (Volkswagen Golf GTI) mugged at the start, falling to third by Turn 1 as Jordan Cox (Alfa Romeo Guilietta) claimed the lead from James Moffat (Renault Megane RS).
James Allen (Alfa Romeo Guilietta) ran wide as the field rounded the right hand sequence midway around the lap of the circuit, bouncing through the grass before rejoining.
A torrid opening lap saw Tony D’Alberto (Honda Civic Type R) drop to 17th by the end of the opening lap, while Peugeot’s Aurelien Comte was going the other way as he climbed to eighth.
Cameron slipped further back to sit seventh behind Cox, Moffat, Morcom, Chris Pither (Renault Megane RS), and Will Brown (Hyundai i30N).
Morcom had put a move on Brown at the Hairpin, with Pither following the Hyundai driver through to push the champion-elect two places in a single corner.
On Lap 3 Russell Ingall (Audi RS 3 LMS) found himself pointing the wrong way after spinning at Turn 13, the left rear suspension appearing to fail.
Next time through Pither collected the errant spring left by Ingall’s car, though it did nothing to hamper his immediate progress.
Soon after Moffat pulled off the road while running second, coming to a stop midway around the lap as he entered Elfin Straight.
With Moffat out, Morcom moved to second and Pither third, Brown having dropped 2.5 seconds further back in fourth and under the attentions of Cameron.
Cox’s time out front came to an end when he left the road at ‘The Threesome’ complex of right handers midway around the lap, ending up well off the road with what appeared to be a failure.
It promoted Morcom to the lead, with Pither glued to his rear bumper, with Brown third and Cameron fourth.
Comte’s early progress stalled, as it had done in the day’s earlier race, the Frenchman holding down 10th ahead of Alexandra Whitley (Volkswagen Golf GTI).
Running fourth, a turbo issue saw Cameron struggle for pace, quickly dropping back from Brown.
With two laps to run he fell victim to D’Alberto, a change of position which would ultimately see second in the championship – and $50,000 – change hands.
Morcom held on to take his first race win in the series, holding off Pither by seven tenths.
Brown was third from Heimgartner with D’Alberto fifth to confirm himself second in the championship.
In the run to the line, Cameron’s ailing Volkswagen was mugged by both Comte and Tim Brook (Cupra Leon) to finish 10th, dropping to third in the championship.
Results: Race 3
|1||11||HMO Customer Racing||Nathan Morcom||Hyundai I30N||14||27:34.1288|
|2||33||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Chris Pither||Renault Megane RS||14||27:34.8657|
|3||30||HMO Customer Racing||Will Brown||Hyundai I30N||14||27:38.3831|
|4||777||Kelly Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Astra||14||27:44.7279|
|5||50||Wall Racing||Tony D’Alberto||Honda Civic Type R||14||27:52.5610|
|6||24||Wall Racing||John Martin||Honda Civic Type R||14||27:54.3850|
|7||8||Taskforce / Melb.Perf.Centre||Jason Bright||Volkswagen Golf GTI||14||27:56.7754|
|8||308||DG Sport||Aurelien Comte||Peugeot 308||14||28:06.4363|
|9||64||Garage 1||Tim Brook||Cupra SEAT Leon 300||14||28:07.1011|
|10||2||Melbourne Performance Centre||Aaron Cameron||Volkswagen Golf GTI||14||28:07.1934|
|11||35||Melbourne Performance Centre||Alexandra Whitley||Volkswagen Golf GTI||14||28:08.6787|
|12||3||Melbourne Performance Centre||Iain McDougall||Audi RS 3||14||28:09.5011|
|13||19||Milldun Motorsport||Matthew Simmons||Subaru WRX STi||14||28:10.9701|
|14||10||Ashley Seward Motorsport||James Allen||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||14||29:24.5609|
|15||27||Milldun Motorsport||Barton Mawer||Subaru WRX STi||14||29:30.9221|
|DNF||7||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Jordan Cox||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||7||13:51.6448|
|DNF||34||Garry Rogers Motorsport||James Moffat||Renault Megane RS||4||7:58.7952|
|DNF||100||Melbourne Performance Centre||Russell Ingall||Audi RS 3||3||6:56.6994|
|27||Jean Karl Vernay||42|