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Monday, May 27, 2024
HomeNewsD'Alberto hangs on in TCR title thriller

D’Alberto hangs on in TCR title thriller

AUSTRALIAN motorsport veteran Tony D’Alberto has survived a major scare to become the third champion in TCR Australia history.

D’Alberto started the day at Mount Panorama with a 49-point lead in hand, which was only made more secure by extreme rain that washed out the penultimate race of the season this morning.

Nearest rival and 2019 title winner Will Brown threatened to spring a surprise though, pulling out all the stops to win Race 3 and put D’Alberto under immense pressure.

Brown did grab the provisional series lead when he passed Aaron Cameron for first at The Chase on Lap 8 of 20.

At that stage, D’Alberto was running 13th, needing to finish 12th to win on a countback.

With his Honda struggling for pace, D’Alberto was helped by some misfortune for others ahead, Jordan Cox suffering a front splitter issue and Ben Bargwanna stopping on-track to trigger a Lap 13 Safety Car.

D’Alberto would hang on from there to finish 11th and put himself two points clear of Brown in the overall standings.

At the head of the field, the ascendancy swung back and forth between Brown and Bailey Sweeny, the latter hitting the front on Lap 15 only to cede position due to a last-lap mistake at Griffins Bend.

Sweeny hung on for second ahead of Hyundai teammate Josh Buchan.

Dylan O’Keeffe had earlier crashed out of the lead on Lap 1 at Griffins Bend while under pressure from Cameron and Sweeny.

In other categories, Nathan Herne won the Trans Am 100.

There was late drama as Owen Kelly collided with Brett Holdsworth in pursuit of second place on the last lap, allowing Ben Grice and Nash Morris to finish on the podium.

In Touring Car Masters, Steven Johnson took a sweep of all four races (including the trophy race).

In doing so, he finally chalked up Ford’s 200th race win in the category, the Blue Oval having been stuck on 199 since last December.

Ryan Hansford meanwhile tightened his grip on the title race, opening up a 78-point buffer over nearest rival John Bowe leading into the Adelaide finale.

Conversely in Porsche Sprint Challenge, Ryan Wood closed Tom Sargent’s points advantage to 32, their decider taking place in a fortnight’s time at Phillip Island.

Triple Eight Race Engineering combination Broc Feeney and Prince Jefri Ibrahim won the three-hour GT enduro from Tim Slade/Brad Schumacher and Jordan Love/Ross Poulakis.

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