Sandown TCR: Brown survives early spin to win title
Will Brown survived an early spin to secure the first ever TCR Australia title with a ninth place in Race 3 at Sandown.
The HMO Hyundai driver effectively only needed to finish the third Sandown race ahead of Dylan O'Keeffe (ASM Alfa) to wrap up the title.
But his hopes of doing so looked to be in tatters just two laps in, Brown spinning his i30 all on his own at Turn 2.
That handed Dylan O'Keeffe a golden opportunity to keep the title race alive, however the ASM Alfa driver swiftly threw that away by taking a trip through the Turn 9 gravel and dropping to the very back of the field.
While Brown was able to work his way back to eighth, setting a new lap record on his way, O'Keeffe was left stranded down in 11th.
The result means Brown can't be beaten at the season finale at The Bend in November, making him the inaugural TCR Australia series winner.
"It feels awesome," he said. "It's a bit bitter-sweet after fencing it by myself, but we fought back and I was able to pass a few people and get there.
"I can't thank the boys from HMO Customer Racing enough."
Nestor Girolami, meanwhile, made it three wins from three races at Sandown with another lights-to-flag effort.
The Argentine gapped the field by 1.5s on the opening lap, only for Garth Tander (MPC Audi) to draw the leading Honda back in.
The three-time Bathurst 1000 winner couldn't find a way through, though, Girolami holding on to take a third-straight win by four-tenths.
"It was a crazy weekend," said the WTCR ace. "What can I say? I have no words. I really enjoyed Australia, I'll have to come back."
Tander added: "I wanted to beat him, and I'm sure Nestor didn't want to get eaten by an Aussie who normally drivers rear-wheel-drive cars. "I got to the back of Nestor, but couldn't do anything with him.
Andre Heimgartner took Kelly Racing's first TCR podium with third in his Astra, although there is a lingering question mark over a move on Tony D'Alberto (Wall Honda) that may have been under yellow flags.
Jason Bright (MPC VW) finished fifth, ahead of Bryce Fullwood (Kelly Holden) and Aaron Cameron (MPC VW).
|1||38||Nestor Girolami (ARG)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||25:17.9768|
|2||3||Garth Tander (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||25:18.4446|
|3||777||Andre Heimgartner (NZ)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||25:20.7374|
|4||50||Tony D’Alberto (Vic)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||25:22.5334|
|5||8||Jason Bright (Vic)||Taskforce/Melb Performance Cnt||Volkswagon Golf GTI||25:25.4375|
|6||62||Bryce Fullwood (NT)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||25:25.7936|
|7||2||Aaron Cameron (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagen Golf GTI||25:28.0687|
|8||30||William Brown (Qld)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||25:34.9130|
|9||34||James Moffat (Vic)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||25:42.6370|
|10||11||Nathan Morcom (NSW)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||26:00.1114|
|11||9||Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||26:31.9655|
|12||97||Liam McAdam (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||26:03.5963|
|DNF||7||Jordan Cox (NSW)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||24:08.1394|
|DNF||35||Alexandra Whitley (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagon Golf GTI||14:34.0702|
Sandown TCR: Girolami wins action-packed Race 2
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