Brad Harris scores two wins, as Bargwanna retakes points lead

Brad Harris scores two wins, as Bargwanna retakes points lead

14 April 2024

Brad Harris and his Wall Racing Honda Civic formed the most competitive package in TCR Australia’s weekend at Phillip Island. Harris had been second in Qualifying behind his teammate Tony D’Alberto before a penalty deprived him of P2 in Race 1 behind Josh Buchan. Harris struck back and won both the remaining races starting from the pole, though he needed to be reinstated as the winner of Race 2 after being wrongly penalised, instead of his brother Will, for a jump-start. In the standings, Ben Bargwanna has moved back on top, seven points clear of previous leader Zac Soutar,

Race 1 – The Honda Civic cars of poleman D’Alberto and Harris filled the front row, followed by Buchan’s Hyundai and Dylan O’Keeffe’s Lynk&Co. D’Alberto and Harris made a good start, but during the first lap Buchan attempted an overtaking manouevre that resulted in Harris making contact with D’Alberto who spun and rejoined at the back. Buchan pulled away, with Soutar defending second place from Harris. O’Keeffe followed in P4, while Clay Richards, Bargwanna, Tom Oliphant and Ryan Casha were delivering a thrilling battle for P5. During the penultimate lap Bargwanna passed Richards for fifth, and Casha passed Oliphant for seventh. Up front, Buchan took victory, while Harris overtook Soutar to finish second, with O’Keeffe fourth. However, Harris was handed a ten-second penalty for the incident with D’Alberto and dropped to ninth, while Soutar and O’Keeffe moved up to second and third.

Race 2 – Will and Brad Harris shared the front row of the top-ten reversed grid, with Brad sprinting to the lead at the start. At the back of the field Buchan and Glenn Nirwan collided and retired. In lap 1, there was a furious fight for P2, with Will Harris chased by Cameron, Richards and Casha; a contact followed between Cameron and Harris who dropped to 11th. Cameron pushed to close the gap to the leader, while Casha overtook Richards for third in lap 5. In lap 8, another collision involved Oliphant and Bargwanna who were fighting for P5, with Oliphant spinning off. The race finished behind the safety car after O’Keeffe’s Lynk&Co spun off onto the gravel with a flat tyre and Harris was the first to take the chequered flag. He was first demoted to fourth by a five-second penalty for jump start and then reinstated, with Cameron and Casha completing the podium.

Race 3 – Brad Harris had scored enough points to be on pole, with Richards alongside him, while the third spot was empty, as the series leader Soutar was starting from the pits. Richards led at the start, but Harris chased him and passed at the end of lap 2. Richards doggedly defended P2 but lost the position after running abreast with Bargwanna in lap 3 and in the following lap he was also passed by Cameron and Buchan. Little by little, Bargwanna was closing the gap to Harris, while D’Alberto overtook Richards for fifth in lap 10. In lap 11, Harris’ lead had shrunk to one second, but he was able to react and increased his margin again, taking another win ahead of Bargwanna and Buchan who benefitted from Cameron’s tyre troubles as the latter dropped down to finish tenth, while Soutar recovered to sixth.

The championship will resume at the Bend Motorsport Park on June 1/2.


Phillip Island – Race 1

  1. Josh Buchan (HMO Customer Racing, Hyundai i30 N), 9 laps
  2. Zac Soutar (Tufflift Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS), 1.8356
  3. Dylan O’Keeffe (Ashley Seward Motorsport, Lynk&Co 03), 2.1498


Phillip Island – Race 2

  1. Brad Harris (Wall Racing, Honda Civic Type R FL5), 12 laps
  2. Aaron Cameron (Team Valvoline GRM, Peugeot 308), 1.0101
  3. Ryan Casha (Team Valvoline GRM, Peugeot 308), 3.2587


Phillip Island – Race 3

  1. Brad Harris (Wall Racing, Honda Civic Type R FL5), 16 laps
  2. Ben Bargwanna (Hangcha Racing GRM, Peugeot 308), 1.5008
  3. Josh Buchan (HMO Customer Racing, Hyundai i30 N), 3.0688


Championship points

  1. B. Bargwanna, 300 pts; 2. Z. Soutar 293; 3. J. Buchan, 278


Picture: TCR Australia

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