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Brown gunning for global glory in Portugal

WILL Brown has his sights set on contesting the TCR World Tour final after dominating the combined Australia/international round at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Brown upstaged nine global TCR stars to win the opening two legs of Race Sydney last weekend and finish third in Race 3, despite carrying a five-second penalty for a jumpstart.

That has seen him rocket to 10th in the World Tour standings – the highest-ranked driver outside of the regulars.

Brown became the second ‘local driver’ to take outright victory in a World Tour race this year, following Frenchman John Filippi from Round 2 at Spa.

The top 15 drivers in the overall standings will receive automatic qualification into the World Tour final next March at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao, Portugal.

Brown is virtually a shoo-in now for automatic qualification and can further strengthen his case by scoring more points at this weekend’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst International.

“It will be interesting to see next year with my commitments with Supercars and T8, if I can do it,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“But that’s something that I would definitely be looking at doing now that I’m not one of the 45 that have to qualify to get into the final, I’m actually straight into the final.

“So it’s probably even more appealing than it was before, so it’s definitely something I’ll be trying to do.”

Will Brown en route to the Race 2 victory in Sydney. Pic: Supplied/Daniel Kalisz

Several other Aussies are in the hunt for a top 15 ranking, including Josh Buchan (14th), Bailey Sweeny (15th) and Aaron Cameron (17th).

A total of 52 different drivers have recorded World Tour points this year, with many more having lined up on the grid.

After a reliability-savaged start to the season, Brown and his Melbourne Performance Centre Audi have roared to life in recent rounds.

The 2019 TCR Australia champion admitted the international influx at SMP had made for a step into the unknown, and it certainly delivered plenty of entertainment.

“It was a bit of an unknown going into the weekend with how we’d go, so to win two out of the three races and cross the line second in the third one was awesome, probably better than we expected,” said Brown.

“The racing was crazy. They sort of get away with a fair bit more over there, so it made the racing really exciting, that’s for sure.

“You had to have your wits about you.”

Bathurst marks the final round of the TCR Australia season; Sweeny is in the box seat with a 29-point lead over HMO Customer Racing Hyundai teammate Josh Buchan.

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