Tasmania TCR: Soutar wins red-flagged final race
Zac Soutar claimed a maiden TCR Australia victory in the final race of the Tasmania weekend, which was red-flagged early on to allow for barrier repairs.
Soutar finished second on the road in the shortened 16-lap encounter at Symmons Plains, but was awarded the victory following a five-second penalty for polesitter Josh Buchan.
Buchan had done everything in his capacity to remain in the lead from start-to-finish, perfecting the launch from the unfavourable inside line and then managing the restart brilliantly to cross the finishing line with a lead of over three seconds.
However, a time penalty for weaving behind the safety car came to be his undoing, dropping him to fourth at the flag.
The race was red-flagged for over 20 minutes following a hefty collision between Brad Shiels and Dylan O’Keefe on lap 4, which sent the GRM driver sideways into the pitwall.
With the barriers heavily damaged and O’Keefe’s car stranded on the start/finish straight, the race was halted on lap 7 to allow marshals to clear the track.
A 10-minute dash to the finish followed with Bushan extending his lead out front with a series of quick laps, but failing to overcome the five-second penalty to hang on to the win.
Soutar, who clashed with 2019 champion Will Brown at the start in an incident that dropped the MPC Audi driver a lap down, was the main beneficiary from Buchan’s penalty, clinching his first TCR Australia victory in a privately-entered Honda.
Wall Racing’s Tony D’Alberto made it a Honda 1-2, finishing just under a second behind Soutar, with Race 2 winner Jordan Cox (GRM Peugeot) completing the podium spots after repassing the Tilton Racing Hyundai of Shiels on the penultimate lap of the race.
Shiels was eventually classified fifth, behind the penalised car of Buchan, with Buchan’s teammate Nathan Morcom finishing sixth.
Jay Hanson was seventh for the Melbourne Performance Audi team, beating the Ashley Seward Alfa Romeo of Michael Caruso, the GRM Peugeot of Aaron Cameron and the Forza Brakes Audi of Liam McAdam.
Supercars veteran Fabian Coulthard (Wall Racing Honda) closed out his maiden TCR weekend in 14th place, just ahead of Brown’s Audi.
James Moffat was ruled out of the race after his Renault was heavily damaged in an incident with Hanson earlier in the day. Ben Bargwanna also couldn’t take the start after reporting brake issues on the formation lap.
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