GRM Sweep All Six Races in Stunning Sandown Show
February 13, 2024
James Moffat, Ben Bargwanna and Jordan Cox have combined to win all six races across the season openers for Supercheap Auto TCR Australia and the Trico Trans Am Series at Sandown.
It’s the first time GRM has performed a sweep of both categories in one weekend, and it’s the first round victory for Bargwanna in TCR Australia. The round played out across an unusually consistent hot weekend at Sandown, with the heat playing a factor across Sunday where track temps soared north of 40 degrees.
Aaron Cameron kicked the weekend off in fine fashion for the TCR crew, leading both Friday practice session. James Golding was the front runner after Trans Am practice, finishing up with the second fastest time in Practice 2.
In qualifying, three of our four drivers reached the six-car shootout that is Qualifying 2. Cox missing out unfortunately with no laps set due to a lack of drive in his #33. Bargwanna topped Qualifying 1 and went on to qualify third on the grid for Race 1. Ryan Casha was a superb fourth in his first TCR qualifying ahead of Cameron in sixth.
It was smooth sailing for Bargwanna in race one as he quickly claimed the lead and checked out to a winning margin of almost six seconds. Cox had the afterburners on as he came from the back to finish in fifth, ahead of Casha in seventh. Cameron had been on course for third before he lost power steering and finished up 13th.
Cox continued his charge in the reverse grid race, as he rocketed from sixth on the grid to lead by turn one. The Schaeffler Peugeot held on from there as Cox bagged his first victory since round one in 2022 – the same year he challenged for the title. Casha grabbed the first podium of his TCR career, in third, while Bargwanna and Cameron were seventh and eighth.
Bargwanna wasn’t to be denied in race three, taking the lead from the outset and holding off the competition to secure his first ever TCR round win. Cox took third, securing third overall for the round, with Casha in fifth and Cameron in eighth.
Golding delivered pole position on his debut in Trans Am, beating out Moffat who had to settle for second on the grid. Tom Davies put it ninth for his first race, ahead of Edan Thornburrow in 10th and Tim Slade in 13th.
The first race for Trans Am was the scene for a spirited battle between teammates, with Moffat prevailing and taking the victory from Golding in second. The #31 driver was unlucky to cop a puncture after contact in race two, which sent him back to 14th. Fortunes were reversed for Slade who charged up nine spots to finish in fourth, with Thornburrow and Davies both fighting into the top 10 as well.
Race three for Trans Am was a bruising encounter, with Moffat and Slade again first and fourth. Davies cut through the chaos to bring home sixth, while Thornburrow and Golding got caught up in a lap one accident and finished off eighth and 10th.
GRM lead both drivers’ standings heading to AWC Race Tasmania – Bargwanna holding a two-point margin in TCR and Moffat a 50 point gap in Trans Am.