SpeedSeries news | Cruel end for Caruso as teen snatches TCR win
Jay Hanson has snatched an unlikely win in race two of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series after a dominant drive by Michael Caruso came undone.
Caruso led the lion’s share of the second outing at Queensland Raceway only for his Alfa Romeo to cry no more just shy of the finish.
That gave Will Brown the lead of the race, only to be passed late in the piece by a hard-charging Jay Hanson who earned his fourth win of the 2022 season.
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Jay Hanson took an unlikely win in Race 2 of TCR Australia at Queensland Raceway (Daniel Kalisz)
“This one means a lot to me,” said Hanson.
“To do it from eighth on the grid, these reverse grid races have not worked out so well throughout the year. So to come first in a reverse grid race, I’m stoked.
“Browny, thanks to him, having a good battle out there. We were two-wide through [turn] one and two and he was rubbing into me down the straight which was cool.
“Both cars are clean, both cars are quick, so bring on the last race this afternoon.”
It was an agonising end to proceedings for Caruso, who hitched a lift back to the pit lane with Brown after the race.
“Probably three of four laps before, we were dropping power,” said Caruso, who led 19 of the 21 laps.
“The oil temperature was going up through the roof. I actually thought we’d make it, but that was probably the optimist in me.
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Michael Caruso leads the TCR Australia field into turn two (Daniel Kalisz)
“I know a lot of people out there are probably going, ‘Bloody hell!’. Yeah, heartwrenching, not just for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to be successful in my career, but our sponsors and Ash [Seward, team owner] everyone in the team, they’ve been working hard.”
From pole position, Caruso got the hole shot into turn one. Brown made a storming start, edging out Michael Clemente into turn two.
Cast wide on corner exit, Clemente skipped his Honda Civic across the grass and ceded several positions to fall to sixth by the end of lap one.
At the end of lap one, it was Caruso who led Brown, Jordan Cox, Luke King, Hanson, Clemente, Tony D’Alberto, Zac Soutar, Bailey Sweeny and Dylan O’Keeffe.
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Brown looked threatening to pass Caruso in the opening laps, hounding the front-running Alfa Romeo.
O’Keeffe’s horror weekend continued on lap five when he pulled into the pits from 10th with a radiator puncture.
A forceful move on King brought Hanson up to fifth on lap six and by lap eight he had dispatched Cox for third.
At the head of the field, Caruso held a comfortable one-second lead over Brown.
Will Brown claimed second in Race 2 of TCR Australia at Queensland Raceway (Daniel Kalisz)
Soon, smoke began emanating from the leading Alfa Romeo. All while that was happening, Brown began falling into the clutches of Hanson.
As the race wore on, the plumes of smoke began to grow. With just three laps to go, Caruso pulled across to the side of the road where he retired.
That gave Brown the lead who had Hanson hot on his heels.
Just short of three laps to go, Hanson got to the inside of Brown at the final corner. Side-by-side they ran down the Dick Johnson Straight into turn one and two.
By turn three, Hanson had the pass done, capping off an incredible drive from eighth on the grid.
Jay Hanson claimed his fourth TCR Australia win (Daniel Kalisz)
From there, the youngster stretched his legs and cruised across the line to win by 1.8 seconds.
Brown was second while King was a distant third. Cox was fourth ahead of series leader D’Alberto. Soutar, James Moffat, Clemente, Buchan, and Nathan Morcom completed the top 10.
Race three of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series gets underway at 4:10pm.
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