O’Keeffe and his Giulietta win a Race 1 full of drama
08 June 2019
Dylan O’Keeffe claimed Alfa Romeo’s first victory in TCR Australia at the end of a thrilling race at Phillip Island. The 18 competitors delivered an exciting show with plenty of contacts and overtaking manoeuvres. Eventually five different brands filled the five top positions: Alfa Romeo, Hyundai, Renault, Honda and Audi.
O’Keeffe sprinted from the pole into the lead, followed by Tony D’Alberto (Honda), Jason Bright (Volkswagen) and Will Brown (Hyundai) who went wide at T2 and dropped. A contact between John Martin’s Honda and Nathan Morcom’s Hyundai prompted the safety car into action as both cars limped back to the pits.
When racing resumed on lap 4, Garth Tander (Audi) tried to overtake Bright for third, they made contact and Tander went wide and lost several positions. André Heimgartner (Subaru) and Jimmy Vernon (Alfa Romeo) benefited from the situation and overtook Bright moving up to third and fourth.
In the attempt to recover the position, Bright hit the back of Heimgartner’s car; they clashed and collected Vernon who spun off. The safety car was deployed again.
At the restart on lap 9, O’Keeffe pulled away again, while there was a tough fight behind him with D’Alberto chased by James Moffat (Renault), Tander, Brown and Hamish Ribarits (Audi).
Moffat dived to the inside of D’Alberto, while Tander was trying to overtake them both on the outside line; the three of them were abreast and made contact, Moffat moved into third, while Tander went wide and lost a couple of places. Brown took the most out of the action and overtook D’Alberto for third, then attacked Moffat’s second place. They delivered another thrilling fight and eventually Brown prevailed on the final lap.
Race 2 will start tomorrow at 13:15 local time (05:15 CET) with the grid based on Race 1 result; Race 3 will follow one hour later. Both will be streamed at www.tcr-series.com and www.tcr-series.tv.
1. Dylan O’Keeffe (A. Seward Motorsport, Alfa Romeo Giulietta), 13 laps
2. Will Brown (HMO Customer Racing, Hyundai i30 N), 4.9819
3. James Moffat (G. Rogers Motorsport, Renault Mégane RS), 5.5298
4. Tony D’Alberto (Wall Racing, Honda Civic FK7), 5.7648
5. Garth Tander (Melbourne Performance, Audi RS 3 LMS), 6.0992
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