Team Soutar now stands as the first privateer outfit to claim a Supercheap Auto TCR Australia race win after Zac Soutar took out race three aboard his Spicers Australia Honda Civic Type R TCR at Symmons Plains.
Almost three years on, following the inaugural round of TCR in Australia, Soutar has etched his name into the history books as not only a race winner, but the first privateer to do so in the Australian leg of the international touring car formula.
Soutar started the final race out of fourth position and after a good launch found himself beside Will Brown’s Melbourne Performance Centre Audi. The pair justled for second place through turn one when they made contact and Brown was sent into the gravel trap, triggering a safety car. The race was suspended shortly after the safety car restart, following a collision between Brad Shiels and Dylan O’Keeffe through Turn 7, which prompted repairs to the tyre barrier.
When the race restarted once more, Josh Buchan led the field as Soutar held off Tony D’Alberto through the first half of the lap. Race leader Buchan was found to be weaving during the restart, which earnt the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing driver a 5 second penalty. Soutar managed to keep Buchan close enough in front by the chequered flag to secure the win in a drama filled finale.
The Race 3 podium was rounded up by D’Alberto in second and Jordan Cox in third
Soutar spent most of the weekend at the front of the field being fastest in Practice 2, qualifying fifth and grabbing two sixth positions in Races 1 and 2. Combining his weekend results the youngster now sits in second place overall, just two points behind Championship leader Buchan and just two points in front of D’Alberto in third.
It’s always inspiring to see a small team on the top step in an age dominated by factory supported and customer racing teams, however with another six rounds to go the title fight is only just beginning.
The battle will continue over the 18th – 20th of March when the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series returns to Phillip Island for Round 2.