Brit star and Bathurst champ claim wins at Zolder
British Touring Car star Ash Sutton and Bathurst 1000 champion Garth Tander have shared the victories in two thrilling races in the second round of the carsales ARG eSport Cup at Circuit Zolder, Belgium, this evening.
Sutton followed up his Round 1 speed at Mount Panorama with pole position for Race 1 and took a dominant lights to flag win by over 20 seconds ahead of TCR Australia racer Dylan O’Keeffe and 17-year-old Trans Am young gun Nathan Herne.
Tander was never headed in the reverse top 20 second race, taking a 4.7 second win and his first win in the eSport Cup.
O’Keefe was the top performer across the two races with a second and a third to take the points lead in the eSport Cup after two rounds.
Carnage ensued on the first lap of the first 30-minute encounter, with Declan Fraser taken out on the pit straight approaching Turn 1 before a melee into Turn 5 saw reigning TCR Australia champion Will Brown spin.
Honda TCR racer John Martin was later thrown into the fence on the back straight approaching Turn 5 and bounced back on the track only to be collected by Nathan Morcom.
Herne made his way to second past O’Keeffe and Valvoline Team GRM S5000 racer James Golding in a battle which unravelled when the trio pushed and shoved each other into Turn 8. Herne ran into the gravel trap, Golding was collected by fifth-placed Jay Hanson while O’Keefe continued only one position down.
While Tander checked out in Race 2, Race 1 winner Sutton’s race unravelled before the first corner when he was sent into the fence before Turn 1. He recovered to 13th.
The battle of the night saw Nic Carroll catch up to the scrapping GRM drivers of Cameron and Jordan Cox and passed them both for second with three laps remaining. On the final lap, Cox ran wide exiting the final chicane and fell back to sixth as O’Keeffe came through from fourth to take the final podium spot from Cameron and Ben McMellan.
Cameron was later demoted to 17th after a penalty applied for cutting through the final chicane during the push-and-shove approaching the chequered flag.
O’Keeffe now leads the ARG eSport Cup on 129 points ahead of Sutton, Herne, Carrol and New Zealander Jayden Ransley.
Round 3 of the ARG eSport Cup heads to the famous American road course of Watkins Glen next Thursday, April 16 from 8pm AEST, live on the TCR Australia Facebook page and YouTube channel.