Josh Buchan was none the wiser for the chaos behind him as he soared to a dominant victory in the TCR Australia series opener at Phillip Island.
After an unsuccessful Friday where he didn’t complete a single lap due to electrical gremlins, inaugural champion Will Brown had a whole new challenge.
Just one lap into the race, the rear right side of his Audi RS 3 LMS began to tilt.
Stan Sport is the only place to watch the 2023 SpeedSeries. Stream all the action for free, live and on demand
Brown came to pit lane where he retired, breaking out of the garage to let off steam.
It marked the fourth race in a row in which he did not score any points, making his title challenge almost insurmountable.
“If I’m not laughing, I’m going to cry,” Brown told Stan Sport’s Chris Stubbs.
“I just have to take it well, but that’s the fourth thing. So it’s actually different from yesterday and different from this morning.
READ MORE: The “greatest center in history” of All Blacks has died.
READ MORE: A tough dilemma in the OnlyFans star’s racing comeback
READ MORE: O’Donnell’s emotional moment with his son
“This is a fairly new part and the control arm has come off the upright. It just snapped. I don’t know how it happened. I didn’t hit anything. It was actually a pretty clean start.
“Overall, not a very good weekend, I haven’t finished any sessions, we’ll see how we go tomorrow.
“Four DNFs, you’re not going to win the championship because of how many cars are in it. With only 13 cars at the moment, you don’t have enough claws to hold back.
“For us though, we’ve been looking more at the World Tour stuff, trying to go overseas with it so we can see what we do tomorrow because it’s still (erroneously) tied to yesterday’s issue. work out what we do tomorrow.”
Fellow Audi driver and front-row starter Zac Sotar entered the weekend nervous that the driveshaft could be a sore spot.
However, it was a completely different issue in the race that he suffered on lap eight.
“I don’t know what the story is,” Soutard told 13-time Supercars race winner Fabian Coulthard.
“Coming off the Honda, it just snapped. It’s like a pit limiter or something, kind of like a misfire. Probably the same as Will has.
“We just can’t catch a break right now, we’re not doing very well, that’s for sure.”
The chaos continued when England international Tom Oliphant was punctured and speared at Miller’s Corner.
He brought his brand new Lynk & Co 03 back to pit lane to continue in 10th place.
Seeing Buchan pull away from him, last year’s champion Tony D’Alberto fell to Lachlan Maineff.
Mineeff was the only Audi driver who seemed to avoid trouble. He found speed late in the race and passed D’Alberto from Luke Heights for second.
Seconds later, D’Alberto began to slow as air escaped from his right front tire, which began to flake on the front straight.
“It was only last season that my engineer said: “Be a little careful, a couple of guys are losing tires,” and I had no reason to slow down or anything like that,” D’Alberto explained.
“It felt good, and during that period it just started to get away from me. I lost the position and then almost lost it going straight and that was it.”
Buchan beat Minef by two seconds, with Aaron Cameron taking the final spot on the podium a further two and a half seconds back.
The TCR Australia Series takes place on Sunday with race two at 11.30pm, followed by race three at 4.15pm.
For a daily dose of the best news and exclusive content from the wider world of sports, subscribe to our newsletter by by clicking here!