Bargwanna wins chaotic Sandown TCR race

Ben Bargwanna and Jordan Cox run off at the final complex of corners. Picture: Stan Sport

Ben Bargwanna is provisionally the winner of a chaotic Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series race at Sandown after then-leader Jordan Cox aquaplaned off at the final complex of corners.

UPDATE: Results now final; B.Bargwanna wins

Cox looked set to take victory until he broke traction as the rain poured down again in a single-lap green flag run to the finish in Race 2 of Round 6.

He could not catch the slide well enough to save the #33 Peugeot 308 from sliding into the gravel trap, and Garry Rogers Motorsport team-mate Bargwanna followed him off the road.

However, the #71 Peugeot emerged in front once both were back on the black stuff and took the chequered flag 1.0570s to the good.

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Cox was second across the stripe before stopping at the other end of Sandown’s main straight with what appeared to be radiator damage from the volume of gravel and slosh which he had just run through.

Will Brown finished just behind in third in his Melbourne Performance Centre Audi RS 3 LMS, although the classification is still preliminary.

The weather had been variable through the morning but generally rainy, and the track was still wet when the field took the start early in the afternoon for the first Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series encounter of the day.

James Moffat (Renault) was on the outside of the front row due to the grid inversion and he led team-mate Cox and Ashley Seward Motorsport’s Michael Caruso (Alfa Romeo) to the first corner, although the latter did not make it much further before his race unravelled.

Bailey Sweeny (Hyundai) looked to have outbraked himself at Turn 2 when he ran straight on and turned Caruso around before himself running into the tyre barriers in the infield, triggering a Safety Car.

Bargwanna inherited third having started first, from series leader Tony D’Alberto (Honda), Brown, and Race 1 winner Aaron Cameron (Peugeot), with Jay Hanson (Audi) already up to ninth after his audacious bid to pinch victory on the afternoon prior resulted in a DNF.

The restart came on Lap 5 and Cox applied the pressure to Moffat, but #34 managed to hold onto first position when #33 had a look at Turn 2 on Lap 8.

However, Moffat could not keep Cox at bay on Lap 9 at Dandenong Road, ceding not only first position but second place also to Bargwanna on the run to the final complex of corners.

By then, Hanson was mixing it with the leading group and they had still not sorted themselves out when Moffat got slightly loose on the ripple strip between Turns 3 and 4.

Hanson showed the nose at Turn 4, making contact which turned the former race leader’s #34 Megane RS around and caused damage to both cars once Cameron, who had no chance to take evasive action, hit them on his way through.

Under the second Safety Car which ensued, Cox continued to lead from Bargwanna, Brown, and Cameron, although the latter soon retreated to the pits.

D’Alberto therefore assumed fourth, from Zac Soutar (Honda) and Josh Buchan (Hyundai), while Moffat chose to pull up alongside Hanson’s car at the crash scene, possibly to communicate his point of view to the Audi steerer, before also driving back to the lane.

Weather conditions had deteriorated by the time the second restart took place in time for the start of Lap 14, leading to the manic conclusion.

D’Alberto got home in fourth and Soutar fifth, while Michael Clemente (Honda) rose to sixth after a messy passage back at the Turn 2/Turn 3/Turn 4 complex when Luke King (Hyundai) got into Buchan’s doors and then Clemente into King’s.

Dylan O’Keeffe (Peugeot) finished seventh, ahead of King, Buchan, and Iain McDougall (Audi), with Hanson a lap down in 15th, Sweeny two laps down in 16th, and ‘DNF’ against the names Cameron and Moffat.

Race 3, scheduled for 22 laps, starts at 16:10 local time/AEST and will close out the Sandown round of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships.

Stan Sport’s live and ad-free stream of the event continues now.

Results: Race 2 Updated*

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 71 Burson Auto Parts Racing Ben Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 14 26:22.0987
2 33 Garry Rogers Motorsport Jordan Cox Peugeot 308 TCR 14 26:23.1557
3 999 MPC Team LIQUI MOLY William Brown Audi RS 3 14 26:23.4858
4 50 Honda Wall Racing Tony D’Alberto Honda Civic Type R 14 26:23.8996
5 110 Team Soutar Motorsport Zac Soutar Honda Civic Type R 14 26:25.7065
6 15 Michael Clemente Motorsport Michael Clemente Honda Civic Type R 14 26:26.8595
7 8 Lowbake GRM Dylan O’Keeffe Peugeot 308 TCR 14 26:27.8189
8 2 MOUTAI /Zip Pay Luke King Hyundai i30N 14 26:28.7945
9 30 HMO Customer Racing Josh Buchan Hyundai i30N 14 26:29.3261
10 22 Melbourne Performance Centre Iain McDougall Audi RS 3 14 26:31.1190
11 10 Ashley Seward Motorsport Michael Caruso Alfa Romeo Giulietta 14 26:31.8477
12 11 HMO Customer Racing Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30N 14 26:32.7848
13 14 Forza Brakes Motorsport Lachlan Mineeff Audi RS 3 14 26:38.6273
14 41 Valvoline Racing GRM Kody Garland Renault Megane RS 13 26:32.7277
15 9 Melbourne Performance Centre Jay Hanson Audi RS 3 13 27:03.2302
16 130 HMO Customer Racing Bailey Sweeny Hyundai i30N 12 26:30.3419
DNF 18 Team Valvoline GRM Aaron Cameron Peugeot 308 TCR 11 19:52.2683
DNF 34 LMCT+ Racing GRM James Moffat Renault Megane RS 9 15:58.3516

* Car #2 5sec penalty

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