D’Alberto wins TCR series title in Bathurst cliffhanger

Tony D'Alberto Bathurst Supercheap Auto TCR

Tony D’Alberto. Picture: Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series

Tony D’Alberto is the 2022 Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series winner despite his nearest rival, Will Brown, prevailing in the final race of the season at Bathurst.

The Wall Racing Honda driver needed to finish in just 12th position to ensure the title was his, even if Brown or Jordan Cox did take out Race 3 at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International, but was struggling to get there.

At one point, the #50 Civic Type R sat just 13th as the #999 Audi RS 3 LMS led, but a combination of attrition between them and some elbows-out driving helped D’Alberto climb to 11th at the chequered flag.

As such, he beat Brown to the title by just two points.

UPDATE: Luke King post-race penalty (10 seconds) promotes D’Alberto to 10th and he wins the series by nine points

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Earlier in the day at Mount Panorama, Race 2 was a non-result after a red flag due to low visibility on Lap 1 and no restart, and that made the task easier for D’Alberto.

Still, he started from 11th while, up the front, Dylan O’Keeffe made a better launch from the outside of the front row than the driver in the first grid box, Bailey Sweeny (Hyundai).

However, O’Keeffe could not clear the #130 i30 N as they ran up Mountain Straight and, unable to turn down to the apex at Griffins Bend, he understeered wide and slid his Peugeot into the wall.

Sweeny had to prop and Aaron Cameron (Peugeot) emerged with the lead, from Nathan Morcom (Hyundai) and Brown, while Cox (Peugeot) passed Michael Caruso (Alfa Romeo) for ninth at McPhillamy Park, with D’Alberto 12th at the end of the standing lap.

D’Alberto lost another position, to Luke King (Hyundai), on Lap 4, and while he was still set to win the series if it stayed that way, matters were going to be nowhere near so simple.

Cameron and Morcom both emerged with damage from The Chase on Lap 5 after an incident unseen by broadcast cameras, and that allowed Brown to heap pressure onto the top two.

The Melbourne Performance Centre Audi driver picked off the #11 i30 N of Morcom at Forrest’s Elbow on the next lap and set after the #18 308, as Cox continued to run in ninth and D’Alberto 13th.

Michael Clemente (Audi) then relegated D’Alberto another spot on Lap 6, but when he also passed Kody Garland at The Chase on Lap 7, he forced the #41 Megane RS wide and D’Alberto was able to also pass and reclaim 13th position.

That gave the Honda pilot some breathing space in terms of the live series standings, until Brown made a seriously bold move at The Chase on Lap 8.

He drove across the kerb at the right-hand kink and cleared Cameron in the braking zone, taking over the race lead and also the live series lead.

On Lap 10, Cox had a right-front tyre failure which not only extinguished what little chance he still had of winning the title, but also put D’Alberto back up to 12th and hence back on top in the series reckoning.

Sweeny passed Cameron for second at Hell Corner on Lap 12, before Ben Bargwanna (Peugeot) came to a halt on the run to Forrest’s Elbow, giving D’Alberto another position as well as triggering a Safety Car.

As they trundled around under yellow flag, it was Brown from Sweeny, Cameron, Josh Buchan (Hyundai), Lachlan Mineeff (Audi), Morcom, Teddy Clairet (Peugeot), Caruso, King, Clemente, and D’Alberto in 11th.

The race restarted on Lap 14 and Brown continued to lead until he locked the rears at The Chase on Lap 15, skated wide, and was passed by Sweeny.

Cameron had his hands full trying to keep Buchan behind him and then Sweeny had to go very defensive on Brown as they started Lap 18, which would be the penultimate 6.213km tour.

Brown did manage to wrest first position back from the HMO Customer Racing pilot on Lap 19, before Buchan outbraked Cameron at The Chase.

The official margin of victory was 1.4633s, with Sweeny second from Buchan, Cameron, Mineeff, Morcom, Clairet, King, Caruso, Clemente, and D’Alberto in 11th.

Cox was last classified finisher in 15th, with O’Keeffe, Bargwanna, and James Moffat (Renault) DNFs.

The 2023 SpeedSeries season gets underway with Race Tasmania at Symmons Plains on February 24-26.

All SpeedSeries rounds will again be streamed live and ad-free on Stan Sport.

Results: Race 3 Updated

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 999 MPC Team LIQUI MOLY William Brown Audi RS 3 19 45:51.0010
2 130 HMO Customer Racing Bailey Sweeny Hyundai i30N 19 45:52.4643
3 30 HMO Customer Racing Josh Buchan Hyundai i30N 19 45:52.7111
4 18 Team Valvoline GRM Aaron Cameron Peugeot 308 TCR 19 45:52.9400
5 14 Forza Brakes Motorsport Lachlan Mineeff Audi RS 3 19 45:53.1812
6 11 HMO Customer Racing Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30N 19 45:53.9076
7 20 Peugeot Sport GRM Teddy Clairet Peugeot 308 19 45:55.0583
8 10 Ashley Seward Motorsport Michael Caruso Alfa Romeo Giulietta 19 45:57.9475
9 15 Michael Clemente Motorsport Michael Clemente Audi RS 3 19 45:59.9781
10 50 Honda Wall Racing Tony D’Alberto Honda Civic Type R 19 46:00.2726
11 22 Melbourne Performance Centre Iain McDougall Audi RS 3 19 46:01.2817
12 41 Valvoline Racing GRM Kody Garland Renault Megane RS 19 46:01.4714
13 2 MOUTAI /Zip Pay Luke King Hyundai i30N 19 46:05.2602
14 110 Team Soutar Motorsport Zac Soutar Honda Civic Type R 18 46:04.4547
15 33 Swyftx GRM Jordan Cox Peugeot 308 TCR 18 46:53.4999
DNF 8 Schaeffler GRM Dylan O’Keeffe Peugeot 308 TCR 16 40:14.1372
DNF 71 Burson Auto Parts Racing Ben Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 11 25:05.3738
DNF 34 LMCT+ Racing GRM James Moffat Renault Megane RS 4 10:06.5018

Series points Updated

Pos Driver Pts
1 Tony D’Alberto 711
2 William Brown 702
3 Josh Buchan 667
4 Jordan Cox 647
5 Bailey Sweeny 610
6 Zac Soutar 588
7 Nathan Morcom 582
8 Aaron Cameron 579
9 Dylan O’Keeffe 577
10 Jay Hanson 535
11 Ben Bargwanna 535
12 Michael Caruso 520
13 Lachlan Mineeff 442
14 James Moffat 402
15 Michael Clemente 384
16 Iain McDougall 344
17 Luke King 343
18 Brad Shiels 317
19 Kody Garland 294
20 Fabian Coulthard 255
21 Braydan Willmington 234
22 Liam McAdam 103
23 Teddy Clairet 84
24 Tim Slade 59
25 Eddie Maguire 58


Sunday at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International in pictures.

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