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D’ALBERTO TIGHTENS GRIP ON TCR TITLE RACE

TONY D’Alberto has upped his TCR Australia title campaign with a superb display at Queensland Raceway this weekend.

The ever-consistent Wall Racing Honda driver broke through yesterday for pole position and his maiden race win in the category and backed that up in the event finale this afternoon.

Having entered Ipswich with nine career TCR podiums – but none where he stood on the top step – D’Alberto was dominant.

“I’ve always said that our best defence is going to be having raw speed and this weekend we had a great car and we really maximised it,” the 36-year-old told V8 Sleuth.

“I couldn’t be happier to be honest, the boys at Wall Racing have really dug deep and given me a great car.

“It’s still not easy to put it all together on a race weekend, there’s so many variables, but it couldn’t have gone any better this weekend so absolutely thrilled.”

D’Alberto leads the field. Pic: Australian Racing Group

He now leads by 58 points from new nearest rival Jordan Cox. Dylan O’Keeffe dropped from second to seventh over the course of a horror weekend (two 11th places either side of a DNF).

With the season decider to be held at Bathurst – typically an unfavourable track for the Honda fleet – D’Alberto is hoping to maintain or extend his margin at the penultimate round at Sandown.

For now, he’s happy to simply have a race win-sized weight off his shoulders.

“I feel like we talk about the championship and all that stuff and it’s getting closer but still the job is a fair way off being done yet so we can’t get too excited,” said the Shell V-Power Racing Team Supercars co-driver.

“But I’m excited right now because I finally won a race!”

D’Alberto now has two TCR Australia race wins to go with a further nine podiums. Pic: Australian Racing Group

There was a change for the lead in another key Australian Racing Group category at QR, with Nathan Herne reclaiming the ascendancy in the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series.

Herne defied the cameo presence of Erebus Motorsport driver Brodie Kostecki to cleansweep the three races and move 13 points clear of Owen Kelly.

Kostecki, in the Shaw Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro originally reserved for Shane van Gisbergen before political pressures intervened, netted results of third, sixth and second, while third-generation driver Jett Johnson took his first two podiums in the category.

Brodie Kostecki at QR. Pic: Australian Racing Group

Bathurst 6 Hour winner Thomas Sargent emulated Herne’s efforts, charging into the points lead with a three-pronged sweep of Porsche Sprint Challenge.

And in GT World Challenge Australia, the pairings of Shane van Gisbergen/Prince Jefri Ibrahim and Garth Tander/Yasser Shahin shared the spoils.

The next round of the ARG SpeedSeries will be held on September 16-18 at Sandown.

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