Jay Hanson returns to victory lane in Race 2 at Sydney Motorsport Park
AWC MPC Racing’s Jay Hanson led from start-to-finish as he secured another victory in his latest specification Audi RS3 LMS TCR in the inverted top 10 Race 2 at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Hanson prevailed following a frantic opening as he secured the win by 1.8s from Hyundai privateer Luke King and HMO Customer Racing’s Nathan Morcom.
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There was drama even before the race started as Autoglym Ashley Seward Motorsport’s Michael Caruso failed to get his Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR to start until it did so when towed and he re-joined the grid.
An even start for Hanson and Shiels led to a close battle into Turn 2 as D’Alberto joined the fray to and Moutai/ZIP PAY Hyundai driver King making it four-wide through Turn 3.
Back in the pack, Valvoline Team GRM’s Aaron Cameron was uncharacteristically slow off the start in his Peugeot as was Challenge Motorsport Audi’s Iain McDougall.
Hanson maintained the lead despite the advances of D’Alberto, who in turn tangled with King exiting Turn 6 as Shields also remained in play.
Behind, LIQUI MOLY Team MPC’s Will Brown was the big mover through the field climbing 10 spots to 11th as he was followed by the Stan Sport Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R of Fabian Coulthard, who was up five places.
It was a frantic mid-pack battling for the final positions within the top 10 as GRM stablemates Dylan O’Keeffe and Jordan Cox made contact on the straight but both remained unscathed.
Once the race had settled D’Alberto dropped positions to King and HMO Customer Racing’s Nathan Morcom to sit fourth, but crucially ahead of title rival O’Keeffe.
Last night’s race winner Josh Buchan was unable to make in roads from 10th in the HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR, but this was opposite to LMCT+ Racing GRM Renault Megane RS TCR driver James Moffat as he progressed to eighth.
Hanson held a 1.1s margin ahead of King, Morcom, D’Alberto, Shiels, Cox, O’Keeffe, Moffat, Honda privateer Zac Soutar and Buchan.
Behind, Brown’s initial run continued as Buchan lost two spots as Coulthard also moved through at Turn 2 following a mistake entering the final straight.
Caruso was also in close proximity holding off the Motul Honda Civic Type R TCR of Michael Clemente.
Moffat continued his charge by demoting O’Keeffe and was catching Cox in sixth by 0.6s a lap, though the Swyftx Peugeot driver was also mounting an attack on Shiels in the Royal Purple Racing Hyundai.
Meanwhile, it was Hanson leading from start-to-finish in his rewarding the Melbourne Performance Centre crew after it repaired his Audi after Bathurst.
It was a 1.8s margin back to King as Morcom followed in third as a near 10s further back was series leader D’Alberto from Cox after a mistake at Turn 9 from Shiels allowed the Peugeot through and Moffat.
Rounding out the top 10 were O’Keeffe, Soutar and Brown as Coulthard just missed out in 11th.
The reverse grid race proved a struggle for Buchan in 12th ahead of Caruso, who was battling a bent steering arm, Clemente and Cameron after he failed to recover further from his bad start.
An intense privateer battle followed between Lachlan Mineeff in the Purple Sector Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Alfa Romeo of Braydan Willmington falling in favour to the former as HMO Customer Racing’s Bailey Sweeny rounded out the field.
Ben Bargwanna was still experiencing problems in the Burson Auto Parts Peugeot, this time a turbo hose.
McDougall retired after a front-end problem in the Audi, while Kody Garland also visited pit lane.
Today’s final Supercheap Auto TCR Australia race begins at 4:10pm where Cox will start from pole.