Jason Bargwanna wins after Mostert misfortune

Jason Bargwanna. Picture: Daniel Kalisz Photographer/ARG

Jason Bargwanna has picked up his first Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series race win in the Round 2 finale after Chaz Mostert struck tyre trouble at Phillip Island.

Mostert dominated a rainy Race 1 and overhauled Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia team-mate Luke King to win Race 2, before leading most of the first 11 laps in Race 3.

Bargwanna had already survived a hair-raising run through the grass when he inherited first position as the right-front failed on the #25 RS 3 on Gardner Straight, and went on to give Peugeot its first TCR Australia race win.

Tony D’Alberto took the chequered flag 1.8s behind in second place in a Honda, while Nathan Morcom rounded out the top three in his Hyundai.

Mostert got home in 18th and Lee Holdsworth (Alfa Romeo) in 19th, both off the lead lap after late-race trips to the pits, although the former still leads the series.

Luke King, who finished second in both of the first two races of the weekend, led the field away but that lasted only until he spun his Audi off at the second corner, Southern Loop.

Mostert therefore inherited first position, ahead of the fast-starting Wall Racing Civics of D’Alberto and John Martin respectively.

Bargwanna went down the inside of the latter when they got to the Turn 4 Hairpin for the first time, then relieved D’Alberto of second spot at Lukey Heights on Lap 2.

Mostert continued to gap the field and was 2.3s to the good after seven laps, but that was when the tide started to turn.

Bargwanna had the margin but under one second soon after, and managed to keep it there despite a trip through the infield off Doohan Corner on Lap 9.

He was right behind his fellow Bathurst 1000 winner when Mostert’s tyre let go at the start of Lap 12, handing the #17 Peugeot a 1.3s race lead, with D’Alberto taking up second.

Morcom had been embroiled in an early battle over fifth position with Aaron Cameron (Peugeot) and Michael Clemente (Honda), and found himself fighting for fourth position with the latter in the final few laps.

The HMO driver got past Clemente at the Turn 4 Hairpin on Lap 12, then put the same move on Martin on Lap 14.

At the very front, Bargwanna grew his lead by a few tenths more to collect a first TCR victory with GRM after several with the squad in Supercars, including the Great Race of 2000.

D’Alberto, Morcom, Martin, and Clemente rounded out the top five, while Ben Bargwanna, son of the race winner, took sixth in another Peugeot.

Seventh through 10th was Dylan O’Keeffe (Renault), Jay Hanson (Alfa Romeo), Josh Buchan (Hyundai), and Cameron.

Chelsea Angelo (Volkswagen) was 11th, James Moffat (Renault) 12th, King 15th, and Michael Caruso (Alfa Romeo) 17th from a pit lane start.

Jordan Cox, who led the series after Round 1, did not take the start due to sump damage in his Alfa Romeo after a clash in Race 2.

Round 3 takes place at the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour event on April 2-4.

Results: Race 3

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 17 Burson Auto Parts Racing Jason Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 15 24:57.2932
2 50 Honda Wall Racing Tony D’Alberto Honda Civic Type R 15 24:59.1089
3 11 HMO Customer Racing Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30N 15 24:59.6022
4 24 Mobil 1 Wall Racing John Martin Honda Civic Type R 15 24:59.7839
5 15 Michael Clemente Motorsport Michael Clemente Honda Civic Type R 15 25:00.1839
6 71 Burson Auto Parts Racing Ben Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 15 25:00.9744
7 33 Lowbake Racing GRM Dylan O’Keeffe Renault Megane RS 15 25:02.2815
8 9 Ashley Seward Motorsport Jay Hanson Alfa Romeo Giulietta 15 25:04.6043
9 30 HMO Customer Racing Josh Buchan Hyundai i30N 15 25:04.8043
10 18 Team Valvoline GRM Aaron Cameron Peugeot 308 TCR 15 25:08.3345
11 37 MPC Astrontech Racing Chelsea Angelo Volkswagen Golf GTI 15 25:08.6356
12 34 LMCT+ Racing GRM James Moffat Renault Megane RS 15 25:08.8519
13 14 Southern Star Truck Services Lachlan Mineeff Volkswagen Golf GTI 15 25:09.9657
14 333 Tilton Racing Brad Shiels Hyundai i30N 15 25:12.6723
15 2 MPC Moutai Luke King Audi RS 3 15 25:16.9767
16 110 Team Soutar Motorsport Zac Soutar Honda Civic Type R 15 25:18.2366
17 7 Valvoline Racing GRM Michael Caruso Alfa Romeo Giulietta 15 25:29.5682
18 25 MPC Bostik Racing Chaz Mostert Audi RS 3 14 26:04.9968
19 10 Ashley Seward Motorsport Lee Holdsworth Alfa Romeo Giulietta 13 24:57.5088

Series points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Chaz Mostert 212
2 Luke King 197
3 Lee Holdsworth 187
4 Tony D’Alberto 169
5 Nathan Morcom 165
6 Aaron Cameron 163
7 John Martin 158
8 Jason Bargwanna 148
9 Josh Buchan 147
10 Ben Bargwanna 143
11 Jordan Cox 142
12 Michael Clemente 137
13 Brad Shiels 125
14 Dylan O’Keeffe 125
15 Jay Hanson 107
16 Michael Caruso 93
17 Zac Soutar 92
18 James Moffat 74
19 Lachlan Mineeff 63
20 Chelsea Angelo 55

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