Written by Timothy Neal

After a delay in the race schedule due to heavy rain, Supercheap Auto TCR Australia opened proceedings as Team Valvoline GRM’s Aaron Cameron held on for victory at Sandown.

In a thrilling finish, MPC AWC Racing’s Jay Hanson attempted a pass at the end of the back straight entering Cameron’s famous Sandown essays, but lost his Audi RS3 LMS TCR, sending both off the track. As Cameron continued, Hanson turned and was unable to join.

The incident saw his team-mate Will Brown in the LIQUI MOLY Team MPC Audi RS3 LMS TCR and Zach Soutar’s Spicers Australia Honda Civic Type R TCR win, both finishing on the podium.

Just shy of the top three was Honda Wall Racing’s Tony D’Alberto, who extended his series lead thanks to Hanson’s absence and his main title rival Jordan Cox, who dropped to seventh after qualifying 11thousand driving a Swyftx GRM Peugeot.

Bad conditions caught Audi privateer Lachlan Minniff in warm-up as he spun the Forza Brakes Motorsport entry at Turn 9.

Luke King and Iain MacDougall had a few late starts as the field widened to three or four widths down the front straight. D’Alberto was involved as Hanson and Soutar went through a trio of Turn 1s, but all survived.

GRM Racing’s James Moffat made a big move on the first lap, working his way up to 10ththousand in the Renault Megane RS TCR.

Throughout, Cameron was under constant pressure from the two Audis of Hanson and Brown as Schaeffler GRM Peugeot’s Dylan O’Keefe called out the first safety car as a technical problem forced him to stop on the back straight.

Cameron’s excellent restart after two laps in the safety car allowed him to temporarily clear the danger from the two Audis. The field almost managed to clear Turn 1, but Valvoline Racing GRM’s Cody Garland tangled with privateer Michael Clemente, who was stuck in his Honda Civic Type R TCR as Renault pulled away.

Meanwhile, King returned to the pit lane after the front drive shaft failed in the warm-up in his Moutai/ZIP PAY Hyundai i30 N TCR.

As the weather began to deteriorate the race came to a close on lap 12 as this time Hanson had the better restart and he tried to take advantage of it until he spun.

Behind the top four, Josh Buchan did no harm to his title aspirations, finishing fifth in the HMO Customer Racing Hyundai of Michael Caruso, Cox, Bailey Sweeney, Moffat and Ben Bargwanna of Ashley Seward Motorsport, supported by Autoglym.

Taking 10thousandBargwanna in the Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot starts from pole in race 2.

Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series action resumes tomorrow at 12.55pm for Race 2 before the final event at 4.10pm.

The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series will host two other races at Sandown as part of the SpeedSeries event, including the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS, the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters and the final round of the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series.


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