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Race report
TCR Australia Phillip Island

Phillip Island TCR: Coulthard edges Brown in Race 3

Fabian Coulthard held off a late charge from Will Brown at Phillip Island to add a second win to his TCR Australia record.

Fabian Coulthard, Wall Racing

The Kiwi broke through for a first TCR win in just his second outing earlier today with a controlled drive in the second race.

That handed him and his Wall Racing Honda pole for this afternoon's finale, and while the ultimately yielded a lights-to-flag win, it was hardly that straightforward.

Coulthard's first challenge came right at the start when he found himself sandwiched between Jordan Cox (Garry Rogers Motorsport Peugeot) and Jay Hanson (Melbourne Performance Centre Audi) on the run to the fast first turn.

The middle proved to be the place to be, the jostling between the trio pushing Hanson wide on the exit of Turn 1, while Cox lost pace on the inside of the corner.

That left Coulthard out front, the race looking like his to lose at least until a safety car neutralised the field on Lap 5 when Kody Garland (GRM Renault) lost a wheel at the last corner.

When the race went green again on Lap 9 it was 2019 TCR Australia champion Will Brown that charged through the field.

The MPC Audi driver went from fifth to second in the space of four laps, before swiftly hunting down the leader.

But while he could catch Coulthard he couldn't quite find a way past, the margin between the two just two-tenths as Coulthard took his second win of the day.

"It was good, we had a great battle with Will," said Coulthard. "This thing is so fast in a straight line so I had to make sure I hit my marks and worked to my strengths. It's great for Stan Sport, great for Wall Racing. I can't thank them enough."

As for the Lap 1 contact at the first turn Coulthard said: "It was wild. I thought I got a good start and had Jay's measure on the left of me. And then another car, I think it was Cox, came up the inside of me and it just felt like my car had no power. Three into one doesn't really go. But in that instance I came off best."

Ben Bargwanna (GRM Peugeot) finished third to make it two podiums for the day followed by Dylan O'Keeffe (GRM Peugeot) and new series leader Tony D'Alberto (Wall Honda).

Cox ended up back in sixth after another run-in with Hanson on the way to Turn 1 just before the safety car.

In that case the pair rubbed doors down the front straight as Hanson tried to pass on the left, the contact leaving him with damage. He finished way down in 18th.

The 2022 TCR Australia season continues at the Bathurst 6 Hour on the Easter weekend.

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