story by TCR Australia
Will Brown gave his father Shane the best possible Father’s Day gift when he handed him a pair of first place trophies after the carsales TCR Australia Series weekend at Winton.
Brown swept both Sunday races after a runner-up run on Saturday from Pole Position to cement himself in top spot at the top of the championship table, with a 116-point margin over Dylan O’Keefe with just six races to run in the inaugural series.
Brown set a new record for a winning TCR margin when he romped home by 10.74 seconds with his Hyundai i30N in the final heat, refusing to slow down to improve the show or give his rivals a break.
“I’m not going to slow down? Why should I?,” said Brown.
Jason Bright and Aaron Cameron shared the seconds from the Sunday stoushes in Volkswagen Golfs, with veteran Russell Ingall moving up steadily and stealthily through the weekend for the final podium place in Race 3 with an Audi RS3.
“The car gets better as the races go on. I’m really enjoying myself,” said Ingall, who was also happy to rate his young rivals.
“It’s good to see young drivers coming along. If they were imbeciles I would tell you.”
Bright blew his chance for a second run to second when he stalled at the start of Race 3 in his Volkswagen Golf, eventually trailing home in 12th after starting from the front row.
“I got a good jump and then it just stalled. I hit every wrong button – the wipers, the pitlane speed limiter, the radio – while I was trying to re-start,” said Bright.
“Luckily no-one hit me. And the car was fast. We just have to keep it like that for the next race at Sandown.”
Brown is now clearly the driver to beat in TCR but his closest title rival, Dylan O’Keefe, has an Alfa Romeo Giulietta that has plenty of top speed for Sandown and he was out of luck at Winton including an unlucky puncture.
“I need to get back up there. I was moving forward, but …,” said O’Keefe.
Winton was a sub-par weekend for the Honda Civic drivers, as Tony D’Alberto could only finish sixth after three heats as he and John Martin were mostly towards the bottom of the top 10.
Chris Pither and James Moffat in Renault Meganes had even worse troubles, with Moffat hit by problems with the car’s drive-by-wire throttle and Pither finishing Race 2 in a wall.
For Brown, the plan now is to finish the championship with more wins and, even though he knows his Hyundai will be out-paced on the Sandown straights and will also be carrying success ballast, he is confident.
“I’m loving every second. There are always more boxes to tick,” Brown said.
“You can never get ahead of yourself. There are still six races to go. We’ll see what happens.”