Breakthrough TCR race win for Coulthard

Fabian Coulthard. Picture: Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series

Fabian Coulthard has his first victory in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, prevailing in Race 2 of Round 2 at Phillip Island.

Coulthard came from seventh on the grid to take the lead early on Lap 3 in his #24 Stan Sport Honda Civic Type R, and was never headed from there.

Joining the Wall Racing driver on the podium were Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Ben Bargwanna in a Peugeot 308 and Tony D’Alberto in the other Wall Honda, the latter after fending off a chasing bunch headed by Jordon Cox.

With the starting grid set with a reversal of the top 10 from Race 1, Bargwanna shared the front row with Michael Clemente (Honda) and it was the latter who led the field to the first corner.

Coulthard benefited from a battle between Aaron Cameron (Peugeot) and D’Alberto to snatch fourth position as the field negotiated the Turn 4 Hairpin for the first time.

The New Zealander was third when he went underneath Lachlan Mineeff (Volkswagen) at Turn 11, just before word came through that Clemente would get a five-second time penalty for starting in front of his grid box.

Coulthard grabbed another position when Bargwanna went to the outside of Clemente at Turn 4 on Lap 2, leaving a gap for the #24 Honda pilot to force his way through on exit.

He was into the lead less than a lap later again when he overtook Clemente through Southern Loop, and began to pull away from the field.

Bargwanna also got by the #15 Honda after three laps more, and Clemente would soon find himself slowing anyway when his fanbelt came off.

He limped back to the pits, just as Cameron had done two laps earlier when he lost a turbo hose while running in fourth position.

As Coulthard continued to circulate with a margin of more than one second over Bargwanna, the fight was on for the final podium position between D’Alberto, Cox (Peugeot) and O’Keeffe (Peugeot).

Neither of the latter two could make a move stick on the car in front, and it became a battle of five when Race 1 winner Jay Hanson and his Melbourne Performance Centre Audi team-mate Will Brown, who started 18th, caught them on Lap 13.

Bargwanna brought his deficit to the lead down to half a second at the chequered flag, but Coulthard never looked under a serious threat from the youngster.

D’Alberto hung on to third, with Cox classified fourth, ahead of O’Keeffe, Hanson, Brown, Michael Caruso (Alfa Romeo), Nathan Morcom (Hyundai), and Brad Shiels (Hyundai).

Zac Soutar (Honda) ended up 17th after a mid-race tangle with Bailey Sweeny (Hyundai) which sent him into the gravel at MG, and Josh Buchan (Hyundai) 19th following a post-race penalty.

D’Alberto and Cox now share the series lead, with Coulthard set to start the weekend finale from first position by virtue of cumulative event points.

Race 3 starts this afternoon at 16:10 local time/AEDT, and will be stream lived and ad-free as part of Stan Sport’s coverage of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships.

Results: Race 2 Updated

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 24 Stan Sport Wall Racing Fabian Coulthard Honda Civic Type R 16 26:22.3004
2 71 Burson Auto Parts Racing Ben Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 16 26:22.8065
3 50 Honda Wall Racing Tony D’Alberto Honda Civic Type R 16 26:27.9291
4 33 Swyftx GRM Jordan Cox Peugeot 308 TCR 16 26:28.4235
5 8 Schaeffler GRM Dylan O’Keeffe Peugeot 308 TCR 16 26:28.8410
6 9 AWC MPC Racing Jay Hanson Audi RS 3 16 26:29.3476
7 999 MPC Team LIQUI MOLY William Brown Audi RS 3 16 26:29.6748
8 10 Ashley Seward Motorsport Michael Caruso Alfa Romeo Giulietta 16 26:38.9149
9 11 HMO Customer Racing Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30N 16 26:39.1777
10 333 Royal Purple Racing Brad Shiels Hyundai i30N 16 26:39.8044
11 22 Melbourne Performance Centre Iain McDougall Audi RS 3 16 26:42.4155
12 14 Purple Sector Lachlan Mineeff Volkswagen Golf GTI 16 26:43.0704
13 89 Braydan Willmington M’Sport Braydan Willmington Alfa Romeo Giulietta 16 26:44.5635
14 41 Valvoline Racing GRM Kody Garland Renault Megane RS 16 26:45.1772
15 97 Forza Brakes Motorsport Liam McAdam Audi RS 3 16 26:48.1929
16 130 HMO Customer Racing Bailey Sweeny Hyundai i30N 16 26:48.5742
17 110 Team Soutar Motorsport Zac Soutar Honda Civic Type R 16 26:58.0242
18 34 LMCT+ Racing GRM James Moffat Renault Megane RS 16 27:08.3775
19 30 HMO Customer Racing Josh Buchan Hyundai i30N 16 27:11.6913
DNF 15 Michael Clemente Motorsport Michael Clemente Honda Civic Type R 5 8:26.1652
DNF 18 Team Valvoline GRM Aaron Cameron Peugeot 308 TCR 3 5:05.4369

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