Mostert hangs tough to wrap up TCR title

Chaz Mostert. Picture: Daniel Kalisz

A subdued Chaz Mostert has become the second title winner in the short history of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series.

Mostert took an ultra-conservative approach to the opening race of the season finale at Mount Panorama as he sought to put the title beyond doubt before tomorrow switching his focus to Supercars commitments for Walkinshaw Andretti United.

Driving the #25 Melbourne Performance Centre Audi, Mostert ultimately finished the race ninth as Aaron Cameron narrowly held off Ben Bargwanna for the victory.

Having initially been in doubt to contest the TCR Bathurst 400 at all given it fell on the same event as the Repco Bathurst 1000, the 29-year-old was on the back foot immediately due to a heavy Practice 1 crash.

A late night pulled by his crew allowed him to qualify seventh this morning, a position he’d maintain through the first several laps.

Before long, he came under pressure from a hard-charging Jordan Cox, but Mostert would find a way past John Martin late on Lap 8 for sixth before losing position to Cox at Hell Corner moments later.

With team-mate and nearest title rival Luke King far from the podium positions after being set back by a frightening moment in qualifying, Mostert pretty well cruised from there, even letting Martin and King by en route to ninth.

That kept his advantage at an unassailable mark with just 90 points remaining on offer between the coming two races.

Mostert joins inaugural winner Will Brown in the exclusive club of TCR Australia season victors.

At the front, there was action aplenty as Cameron – who’d earlier today set a stunning 1:59.9340s to top Shannons S5000 Tasman Series qualifying – lined up pole-sitter Ben Bargwanna.

Cameron would grab the lead on Lap 5 with a nice pass at The Chase, but there would be plenty of fight left in Bargwanna.

As the chequered flag flew, just 0.094s separated Cameron and Bargwanna.

Michael Caruso and Bradley Shiels finished a distant third and fourth, having initially featured in the battle pack for the lead, while Cox made up 10 positions to take fifth.

Initially slated for 21 laps, the race was shortened to a 17-lap affair after a driveshaft issue forced Josh Buchan to stop on circuit on the formation lap.

The TCR field takes a day off tomorrow, with Race 2 starting at 12:30 local time/AEDT on Friday.

Results: Race 1, Supercheap Auto TCR Australia

Pos Num Driver Car Diff
1 155 Aaron Cameron Peugeot 308 TCR
2 71 Ben Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR +0.094
3 150 Michael Caruso Alfa Romeo Giulietta +5.911
4 333 Bradley Shiels Hyundai i30N +8.913
5 5 Jordan Cox Alfa Romeo Giulietta +16.074
6 34 James Moffat Renault Megane RS +19.281
7 2 Luke King Audi RS 3 +27.122
8 24 John Martin Honda Civic Type R +27.706
9 25 Chaz Mostert Audi RS 3 +33.333
10 17 Jason Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR +39.366
11 33 Dylan O’Keeffe Renault Megane RS +39.744
12 11 Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30N +41.330
13 110 Zac Soutar Honda Civic Type R +54.191
14 78 Keegan Brain Volkswagen Golf GTI +2:13.486
15 9 Jay Hanson Alfa Romeo Giulietta +2 laps
16 14 Lachlan Mineeff Volkswagen Golf GTI +2 laps
DNS 30 Josh Buchan Hyundai i30N

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