Soutar wins twice at The Bend and moves on top of the standings

Soutar wins twice at The Bend and moves on top of the standings

02 June 2024

Zac Soutar capitalized on the mistakes of his rivals to claim a pair of victories in TCR Australia’s fourth race meeting at The Bend. After Jordan Cox had won Race 1 on Saturday, the Tufflift Racing driver and his Audi won both Sunday’s races and moved back on top of the standings, deposing the previous leader Ben Bargwanna who has slipped down to third. Soutar has now a margin of 21 points over the reigning champion Josh Buchan.

Race 1 – Tony D’Alberto had set the pole beating Buchan by two tenths, but because he had swapped car – from Hyundai i30 to Elantra – Buchan was dropped to seventh on the grid and Cox inherited P2. D’Alberto and Cox started well, while Soutar on P3 stalled the engine. During lap 1, Cox stole the lead from D’Alberto; Clay Richards and Aaron Cameron made contact while fighting for third, they went wide and dropped to fifth and sixth behind Buchan and Ryan Casha. Cox built a small gap and Soutar was recovering after the false start, passing Bargwanna for P9 in lap 7. In the second part of the race, Richards dropped a few places after clashing with Cameron, while D’Alberto closed in on the leader. In lap 9, Cameron and Dylan O’Keeffe overtook Casha, moving into fourth and fifth. In lap 16, Tom Oliphant tried to pass Bargwanna for P10 and win the pole for Race 2 but went wide at T1. Up front, Cox resisted the pressure from D’Alberto and won by five tenths with Buchan third, while O’Keeffe passed Cameron for fourth.

Race 2 – Bargwanna and Soutar, first and second in the standings split by one point, were on the front row of the reversed grid. Bargwanna had a good reflex at the start, but Soutar moved into the lead at T1, with Brad Harris third. Behind them there was a furious battle between Cameron, Casha, Cox, D’Alberto and Richards; the pack ran abreast at the beginning of lap 2 and there was contact between Cameron, D’Alberto and Richards. The latter spun off, while D’Alberto stopped on the track and the safety car was deployed. Race resumed in lap 4, with Buchan passing Cox and Casha for P4; Cox lost two more places to Oliphant and Cameron. In lap 5, both Harris and Buchan overtook Bargwanna moving into second and third. In lap 8, Oliphant passed Bargwanna for P4, while Soutar benefited from the fights to build a solid lead and went to take his first win of the season from Harris, Buchan and Oliphant. During the final lap, Bargwanna lost fifth place to Casha. After the race, Oliphant was handed a five-second penalty for causing an incident and dropped to fifth.

Race 3 – Buchan and Cox shared the front row of the grid based on the sum of points scored in the first two races, with Soutar third. Cox led from Soutar and Harris who overtook Buchan who dropped a few places. During lap 1, Oliphant hit Cameron who collected both Glenn Nirwan and Iain MacDougall; Nirwan’s Audi stopped with a broken suspension and the safety car was called on the track while Cameron and McDougal pitted for repairs and Oliphant retired shortly afterwards. Racing resumed in lap 6, with Casha and Buchan passing Harris for third and fourth. At the end of the lap, Cox spun and rejoined in sixth, with Soutar inheriting the lead. In lap 8, Buchan passed Casha for second. During the last lap, Soutar resisted an attack from Buchan and scored his second win of the day, with Casha taking the final podium spot.

The championship will resume at Queensland Raceway on July 12/14.


Tailem Bend – Race 1

  1. Jordan Cox (Schaeffler GRM, Peugeot 308), 19 laps
  2. Tony D’Alberto (Wall Racing, Honda Civic Type R FL5), 0.5665
  3. Josh Buchan (HMO Customer Racing, Hyundai Elantra N), 1.5143


Tailem Bend – Race 2

  1. Zac Soutar (Tufflift Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS), 17 laps
  2. Brad Harris (Wall Racing, Honda Civic Type R FL5), 7.5149
  3. Josh Buchan (HMO Customer Racing, Hyundai Elantra N), 7.9527


Tailem Bend – Race 3

  1. Zac Soutar (Tufflift Racing, Audi RS 3 LMS), 16 laps
  2. Josh Buchan (HMO Customer Racing, Hyundai Elantra N), 0.4444
  3. Ryan Casha (Team Valvoline GRM, Peugeot 308), 5.0479



Championship points

  1. Z. Soutar, 414 pts; 2. J. Buchan, 393; 3. B. Bargwanna, 383


Picture: TCR Australia

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