Sandown TCR: Brown survives early spin to win title

Will Brown survived an early spin to secure the first ever TCR Australia title with a ninth place in Race 3 at Sandown.

Sandown TCR: Brown survives early spin to win title

The HMO Hyundai driver effectively only needed to finish the third Sandown race ahead of Dylan O'Keeffe (ASM Alfa) to wrap up the title.

But his hopes of doing so looked to be in tatters just two laps in, Brown spinning his i30 all on his own at Turn 2.

That handed Dylan O'Keeffe a golden opportunity to keep the title race alive, however the ASM Alfa driver swiftly threw that away by taking a trip through the Turn 9 gravel and dropping to the very back of the field.

While Brown was able to work his way back to eighth, setting a new lap record on his way, O'Keeffe was left stranded down in 11th.

The result means Brown can't be beaten at the season finale at The Bend in November, making him the inaugural TCR Australia series winner.

"It feels awesome," he said. "It's a bit bitter-sweet after fencing it by myself, but we fought back and I was able to pass a few people and get there. 

"I can't thank the boys from HMO Customer Racing enough."

Nestor Girolami, meanwhile, made it three wins from three races at Sandown with another lights-to-flag effort.

The Argentine gapped the field by 1.5s on the opening lap, only for Garth Tander (MPC Audi) to draw the leading Honda back in.

The three-time Bathurst 1000 winner couldn't find a way through, though, Girolami holding on to take a third-straight win by four-tenths.

"It was a crazy weekend," said the WTCR ace. "What can I say? I have no words. I really enjoyed Australia, I'll have to come back."

Tander added: "I wanted to beat him, and I'm sure Nestor didn't want to get eaten by an Aussie who normally drivers rear-wheel-drive cars. "I got to the back of Nestor, but couldn't do anything with him.

Andre Heimgartner took Kelly Racing's first TCR podium with third in his Astra, although there is a lingering question mark over a move on Tony D'Alberto (Wall Honda) that may have been under yellow flags.

Jason Bright (MPC VW) finished fifth, ahead of Bryce Fullwood (Kelly Holden) and Aaron Cameron (MPC VW). 

Race results:

Pos Num Driver Team Car Time
   38 Nestor Girolami (ARG)   Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   25:17.9768
    3 Garth Tander (Vic)      Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            25:18.4446
  777 Andre Heimgartner (NZ)  Kelly Racing                   Holden Astra         25:20.7374
   50 Tony D’Alberto (Vic)    Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   25:22.5334
    8 Jason Bright (Vic)      Taskforce/Melb Performance Cnt Volkswagon Golf GTI  25:25.4375
   62 Bryce Fullwood (NT)     Kelly Racing                   Holden Astra         25:25.7936
    2 Aaron Cameron (Vic)     Melbourne Performance Centre   Volkswagen Golf GTI  25:28.0687
   30 William Brown (Qld)     HMO Customer Racing            Hyundai i30N         25:34.9130
   34 James Moffat (Vic)      Garry Rogers Motorsport        Renault Megane RS    25:42.6370
10   11 Nathan Morcom (NSW)     HMO Customer Racing            Hyundai i30N         26:00.1114
11    9 Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)    Ashley Seward Motorsport       Alfa Romeo Giulietta 26:31.9655
12   97 Liam McAdam (Qld)       Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            26:03.5963
DNF   7 Jordan Cox (NSW)        Garry Rogers Motorsport        Alfa Romeo Giulietta 24:08.1394
DNF  35 Alexandra Whitley (Qld) Melbourne Performance Centre   Volkswagon Golf GTI  14:34.0702
Sandown TCR: Girolami wins action-packed Race 2
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