Aaron Cameron wins thrilling Peugeot battle at the Mountain as Chaz Mostert takes the title
Garry Rogers Motorsport Team Valvoline’s Aaron Cameron has fought off the advances of teammate Ben Bargwanna to take a thrilling opening Supercheap Auto TCR Australia encounter at Bathurst as ninth place was enough for Melbourne Performance Centre’s Chaz Mostert to take the title.
Less than a second split the two Peugeots as the pair finished side-by-side, with Cameron leading home a GRM 1-2-3 as Michael Caruso followed the duelling duo in third.
Mostert ran a steady race to stay out trouble as his chief rival in the title race, teammate Luke King only finished seventh, which wasn’t enough to stop the five-time race winner from taking the series.
Before the race start, Josh Buchan in the HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR failed to make the grid after being unable to restart at The Chase delaying the start and necessitating a second warm up lap.
Polesitter Bargwanna led from the start as he fended off a fast starting Cameron, with the two Peugeots duking out in front. GRM Team Valvoline’s Michael Caruso kept a watching brief behind in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR.
In his run with new team Melbourne Performance Centre, Jay Hanson had a tyre delamination on his Alfa Romeo at The Cutting and went a lap down as a result.
Jordan Cox was a big mover through the field climbing from 15th to ninth by lap 2, with a close battle between Jason Bargwanna’s Burson Peugeot and series leader Chaz Mostert in the Melbourne Performance Centre Audi RS3 LMS TCR.
Cameron completed an inside move to take the lead at The Chase as Tilton Racing’s Brad Shiels led the Hyundai charge in fourth, dramatically closing on the top three after demoting James Moffat and John Martin down a position.
Cox was placing pressure on Mostert, who in turn was doing the same to Martin as both passed the Mobil 1 wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR at The Chase. Cox then overtook the series leader at Hell Corner as he set off in pursuit of Moffat’s LMCT+ Racing Renault Megane R.S. TCR.
Up front, Cameron still led from Bargwanna, who had Caruso and Shiels for close company, with Moffat another 5s behind on lap 9.
After making his way from the back, Cox was pressuring Moffat for fifth as the battle for lead intensified when Cameron ran wide at McPhillamy Park, which allowed Bargwanna to close to within 0.2s.
But it was Cameron holding on for his second Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series race win from Bargwanna by 0.0946s, while Caruso took third from Shiels and Cox as the contest ended early due to a time certain finish.
Moffat, King, Martin, Mostert and Jason Bargwanna rounded out the top 10 after a last lap move on Morcom at The Chase.
Buchan and Hanson were the only two entries to not finish, while Purple Sector’s Lachlan Mineeff finished two laps down after pitting twice.
Race 2 for Supercheap Auto TCR Australia is scheduled at 12:30pm Friday, December 3 with the action to be shown live on 7Sport, Fox Sports and Kayo.