Sandown TCR: Girolami dominates opener
Nestor Girolami made a perfect start to his TCR Australia cameo, dominating the opening race at Sandown.
The WTCR ace was never troubled over the 20-lap journey, pulling as much as 3.5s clear along the way.
Series leader Will Brown did close that gap in the closing stages, but couldn't stop Girolami claiming a 2.2s win for the Wall Honda squad.
Brown's race less straightforward, the HMO Hyundai driver briefly dropping back to fourth behind John Martin (Wall Honda) and Jordan Cox (GRM Alfa).
Quickly getting past Cox, Martin proved a tougher nut to crack for Brown. It wasn't until Lap 12, as Martin struggled on four wet tyres in drying conditions, that Brown charged into second.
Cox profited from Martin's late-race lack of grip too, grabbing third place ahead of Garth Tander (MPC Audi).
Martin, meanwhile, held on for a remarkable fifth place, Liam McAdam (MPC Audi) and James Moffat (GRM Renault) right on his hammer at the flag.
Dylan O'Keeffe (ASM Alfa) did his title hopes little favour with eighth, followed by Aaron Cameron (MPC VW) and Nathan Morcom (HMO Hyundai).
Andre Heimgartner, who started on the outside of the front row, didn't see the finish thanks to a suspected suspension problem on his Kelly Holden.
Race 1 results:
|1||38||Nestor Girolami (ARG)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||26:00.7271|
|2||30||William Brown (Qld)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||26:02.9497|
|3||7||Jordan Cox (NSW)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||26:10.9174|
|4||3||Garth Tander (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||26:12.5411|
|5||24||John Martin (NSW)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||26:15.6835|
|6||97||Liam McAdam (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||26:15.9660|
|7||34||James Moffat (Vic)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||26:16.2825|
|8||9||Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||26:20.4079|
|9||2||Aaron Cameron (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagen Golf GTI||26:21.3056|
|10||11||Nathan Morcom (NSW)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||26:36.7466|
|11||33||Chris Pither (NZ)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||26:38.1914|
|12||100||Russell Ingall (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||27:00.7018|
|13||62||Bryce Fullwood (NT)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||27:09.5344|
|14||35||Alexandra Whitley (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagon Golf GTI||27:15.5164|
|15||50||Tony D’Alberto (Vic)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||27:19.4446|
|DNF||8||Jason Bright (Vic)||Taskforce/Melb Performance Cnt||Volkswagon Golf GTI||18:38.9701|
|DNF||777||Andre Heimgartner (NZ)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||5:40.7907|
Sandown TCR: Girolami storms to debut pole
Sandown TCR: Girolami wins action-packed Race 2