Never mind if it’s wet or dry, Will Brown can be quick in every condition and won again at Eastern Creek in the Kumho TCR World Tour/TCR Australia joint event. Following his yesterday night’s victory in a wet Race 1, this afternoon Brown recovered from P10 on the reversed grid to score a second win on the dry tarmac ahead of fellow Audi drivers Rob Huff and Frédéric Vervisch.
Néstor Girolami and Thed Björk shared the front row of the top-ten reversed grid, while the title contenders were third (Norbert Michelisz), fifth (Yann Ehrlacher), seventh (Huff) and ninth (Mikel Azcona).
At the start, Björk was quicker than Girolami, but Aaron Cameron passed them both on the outside of T1, while Björk went wide in the next turn and dropped behind Girolami and Michelisz. There were contacts in the middle of the field and both Azcona and Ma Qing Hua limped to the pits; only the Spaniard rejoined. Cameron was able to build a gap ahead of Girolami, while Michelisz and Björk were fighting for P3. Behind them Huff was chased by Brown who had passed Vervisch. In lap 3, Jordan Cox and Ehrlacher made contact and spun off, while Girolami went off at Turn 6 with a transmission problem and the safety car was deployed.
During the neutralization, the leader Cameron was notified of a 5-second penalty for jumping the start. Racing resumed in lap 7, with Cameron trying to pull away from Michelisz and Björk; this pair collided, Michelisz dropped to fifth behind the trio of Audi cars of Huff, Brown and Vervisch, while Björk retired. In lap 8, Brown passed Huff for P2 and began to close in on Cameron. Michelisz struggled to defend the fifth place from his fellow Australian Hyundai drivers Josh Buchan and Bailey Sweeny.
In lap 12, Brown was on the tail of Cameron’s car and took the lead in lap 13. He went to claim his second victory of the weekend, Cameron was second under the chequered flag but was demoted to eighth by his penalty, which promoted Huff, Vervisch, Michelisz and Buchan in the positions between second and fifth. Ehrlacher recovered to finish ninth.
Brown said: “It was an awesome race. I was just trying to stay out of all the argy-bargy and get to the front. It was really cool, there was a lot of great battles going on and I worked my way to second and was able to catch Aaron to get that win. Really cool to be starting 10th and getting back to first!”
Huff said: “At the beginning it was tough, but in the end was mega. I had been sandwiched between some cars, but luckily mine was not damaged. In the second part of the race, I decided to let Will go, and then I had my teammate behind to protect me. 1-2-3 is a great result for Audi and I have closed the gap in the championship.”
In the World Tour standings, Michelisz is again alone on top, but Huff has moved into the second position, six points behind the Hungarian and four ahead of Ehrlacher.
Sweeny keeps on leading the TCR Australia, 32 points over his teammate Buchan, while Cameron is still third, 39 points adrift.
Sydney – Race 2
Championship points – TCR World Tour
Championship points – TCR Australia
Picture: TCR Australia/Daniel Kalisz