O’Keeffe and Brown Share SMP TCR Victories

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Dylan O’Keeffe and Will Brown have emerged victorious in Rounds 5 and 6 of the carsales TCR Australia SimRacing Series at Sydney Motorsport Park.

In Round 5, series leader O’Keeffe made the best start in his Sim Racing Oz-backed Renault and held off an ambitious outside attempt from John Martin at Turn 2.

From that point, it was a case of “catch me if you can” from O’Keeffe, who gapped the field and was never in danger.

Second place went to John Martin, driving the #24 Mobil 1-supported Honda Civic Type R. The Queenslander stayed within sight of O’Keeffe, and while he did not give up, he could not get within striking distance.

Ben Bargwanna qualified third and eventually finished third, but he made the first part of the race difficult for himself. The son of former Bathurst 1000 champion Jason made a tardy start and dropped to fifth. He made a move on Luke King for fourth on the third lap, and made the move stick, only for King to immediately bump him down to sixth.

“Bargs Jr” chipped his way through the field to get back to third place in his Burson Auto Parts Peugeot 308.

HMO Customer Racing’s Will Brown made a great run through the field from 11th on the grid to fourth at the finish, although it wasn’t without controversy.

The reigning TCR Australia Series champion chipped his way through the field, but his move from fifth to fourth was an aggressive one on his HMO Hyundai team-mate Jaden Ransley, who was eventually classed fifth.

O’Keeffe said he was surprised to take pole, but pleased with the win.

“It was exactly what I was need,” said O’Keeffe.

“I didn’t think I had the pace for pole. I thought Ben (Bargwanna) was going to drop in with a fast time at the end, but he missed out.

“The race was good. John and I were quite quick, but I was pleased to get the race win.”

In the second reverse grid race, Brown was too good for the field, taking a maiden race win in the SimRacing Series.

From the second last row of the grid, the Toowoomban native made a rocket start and edged his way neatly through the field to secure the win and mark himself as a new force in the virtual TCR world.

“Yeah, that was a bit of fun,” Brown said after the race.

“There was a bit of bumping out there, but I really enjoyed it.

“I haven’t been on the simulator for a while, and I didn’t think I’d get the win tonight. Now that I’ve had a few weeks off, I’m really enjoying the sim racing. The TCR car on the Assetto Corsa platform feels really realistic. I can really relate to it more and I really enjoyed it.”

A fantastic battle was had for the minors, with a number of packs forming, creating some entertaining and fierce battles.

Eventually, Martin was able to overhaul young gun Jay Hanson on the final lap at the last corner after a number of fender bending rubs between the pair.

The result ensured that Martin has stayed in touch with O’Keeffe in the title battle.

Ransley was a close fourth from Audi driver Liam McAdam, O’Keeffe, King, Chelsea Angelo and the Kiwi pair of Brock Timperley and Rowan Shepherd.

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