Brown and O’Keeffe share the spoils at Surfers Paradise
Will Brown and Dylan O’Keeffe have taken victories in the (virtual) debut of TCR Australia cars on the streets of Surfers Paradise this evening.
Hyundai star Brown took a stunning victory in Race 1, while Renault driver and series leader O’Keeffe claimed a hard fought win in the reverse grid second race.
Having fought from the back of the field to the lead, Brown was the man in the first race.
Driving for HMO Customer Racing, the Qiueenslander started fifth, but dropped to the back of the field in the early salvos. He chipped his way through the field and ultimately held off a spirited fight from Ben Bargwanna who put him under massive pressure in the closing laps.
Chelsea Angelo was another star of the race, qualifying second and leading many laps, only to fade to third place – a season-best result – just behind Bargwanna.
Honda privateer Zac Soutar claimed a season-best fourth, getting the best of Jay Hanson who was fourth until a giant crash at the second chicane compromised his ASM Alfa Romeo.
Hanson held on for fifth ahead of series leader O’Keeffe, who after qualifying on pole and comfortably leading, had a big crash that hampered his Renault.
In the reverse grid second race, Brown’s Hyundai team-mate Jaden Ransley started from pole and was the early pace-setter, only to be overhauled by O’Keeffe on the seventh lap.
The win for O’Keeffe ensured that his series lead remained in tact, and maintained his record of scoring at least one race win in each TCR SimRacing Series event this season.
John Martin finished second (his fifth such result for the season), keeping himself in title contention ahead of Ransley, while an almighty dice was fought for fourth, including Brown, Angelo, Bargwanna, Luke King and Hanson.
At one stage, the pack was three wide inside the notorious concrete canyon, and predictably, it ended in tears. Bargwanna suffered the most, spinning out of contention, while many of the cars finished with steering arms that were at 90 degree angles.
In the end, Bargwanna came back to fourth from Brown, Kiwi Brock Timperley, Angelo and King.
Series leader O’Keeffe was pleased with his evening’s performance, but rued a mistake that cost him the win in the first race.
“Getting a win in each round is one of the motivating factors, so it was good to win the second race and maintain the record,” he said.
“I thought I had done enough in the first race. I was out in front and felt comfortable, but I tried to avoid one of the bollards at a chicane and understeered into the wall. The steering was bent and I had no straight line speed.
“In the last race, I used more off the kerb and got the win, and it was a lot of fun.”
The next event of the series will be held at Sandown Raceway.