Hanson dominates TCR Race 1 in new Audi

Jay Hanson. Picture: Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series

Jay Hanson has broken through for a career-first race win in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, taking out the Round 1 opener at Symmons Plains in the new Audi.

The Melbourne Performance Centre driver led all 26 laps in what was the first race for the new-generation RS 3 in a domestic TCR competition, with HMO Hyundai i30 N steerers Josh Buchan and Nathan Morcom rounding out the podium.

James Moffat finished fourth in a Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault Megane RS, ahead of team-mate Aaron Cameron in a Peugeot 308, privateer Zac Soutar in a Honda Civic Type R, and Will Brown in an MPC Audi.

The rest of the top 10 at the chequered flag was Tony D’Alberto (Honda), from Dylan O’Keeffe (Peugeot) and Brad Shiels (Hyundai).

Back at the start, Hanson made a slightly nervous getaway but it was good enough for him to lead the pack into the first braking zone, from pole-sitter Morcom, Buchan, and Brown.

Moffat dived down outside when the field arrived at the Hairpin for the first time, and he was able to drive past Soutar and into fifth position on exit.

Buchan passed HMO Customer Racing team-mate Morcom for second on Lap 2, and Moffat went down the inside of Brown into Turn 6 on that same lap.

That put the 2019 series winner down to fifth, and Brown lost two more positions on Lap 3 when Cameron lunged past at the Hairpin and Soutar was able to follow.

Meanwhile, Hanson was running away with the contest, and he moved three seconds clear of Buchan when he reset the lap record on Lap 11.

The youngster continued to stretch his margin, which amounted to 5.2101s at the chequered flag.

Moffat tailed Morcom towards the end, while Brown and D’Alberto put Soutar under some late pressure, but the real intrigue became the battle for 10th, and hence top spot on the grid for Race 2.

Fabian Coulthard (Honda) looked like he had it when he went down the inside of Shiels at Turn 6 on Lap 13, but gave it up three laps later when he went wide at the Hairpin and was slow up the back straight in the Stan Sport Civic Type R.

Still, Coulthard hung on for 11th spot in the end despite pressure from Michael Caruso, who drove his Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta from the rear of the 19-car grid after more power steering problems in qualifying.

Caruso effectively started 18th, however, after Jordan Cox manage to lose control of his Peugeot on his way to the grid, running off the road at the kink in the back straight and glancing the wall on drivers’ left.

He did start the race, but from pit lane instead of the 10th position in which he had qualified, and reached the finish in 16th position.

Race 2 will be held tomorrow from 14:25 local time/AEDT and will be streamed live on Stan Sport.

Results: Race 1

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 9 AWC MPC Racing Jay Hanson Audi RS 3 26 24:22.4360
2 30 HMO Customer Racing Josh Buchan Hyundai i30N 26 24:27.6461
3 11 HMO Customer Racing Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30N 26 24:29.8135
4 34 LMCT+ Racing GRM James Moffat Renault Megane RS 26 24:30.1649
5 18 Team Valvoline GRM Aaron Cameron Peugeot 308 TCR 26 24:35.0499
6 110 Team Soutar Motorsport Zac Soutar Honda Civic Type R 26 24:35.5907
7 999 MPC Team LIQUI MOLY William Brown Audi RS 3 26 24:36.3134
8 50 Honda Wall Racing Tony D’Alberto Honda Civic Type R 26 24:36.6591
9 8 Schaeffler GRM Dylan O’Keeffe Peugeot 308 TCR 26 24:37.0670
10 333 Royal Purple Racing Brad Shiels Hyundai i30N 26 24:37.6004
11 24 Stan Sport Wall Racing Fabian Coulthard Honda Civic Type R 26 24:38.0739
12 10 Ashley Seward Motorsport Michael Caruso Alfa Romeo Giulietta 26 24:38.3181
13 71 Burson Auto Parts Racing Ben Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 26 24:41.9564
14 97 Forza Brakes Motorsport Liam McAdam Audi RS 3 26 24:42.6915
15 130 HMO Customer Racing Bailey Sweeny Hyundai i30N 26 24:44.7499
16 33 Swyftx GRM Jordan Cox Peugeot 308 TCR 26 24:51.6725
17 14 Purple Sector Lachlan Mineeff Volkswagen Golf GTI 26 25:04.1913
18 89 Braydan Willmington M’Sport Braydan Willmington Alfa Romeo Giulietta 26 25:06.0460
19 44 Melbourne Performance Centre Eddie Maguire Volkswagen Golf GTI 26 25:07.5069

Series points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Jay Hanson 50
2 Josh Buchan 46
3 Nathan Morcom 46
4 James Moffat 42
5 Aaron Cameron 40
6 Zac Soutar 38
7 William Brown 36
8 Tony D’Alberto 34
9 Dylan O’Keeffe 32
10 Brad Shiels 30
11 Fabian Coulthard 28
12 Michael Caruso 26
13 Ben Bargwanna 25
14 Liam McAdam 24
15 Bailey Sweeny 23
16 Jordan Cox 22
17 Lachlan Mineeff 21
18 Braydan Willmington 20
19 Eddie Maguire 19
20 Kody Garland 0

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