TCR Australia regular Dylan O’Keeffe heads the points standings after claiming a victory and a fourth in the opening round of the TCR Australia Sim-racing series.
Meanwhile, kiwi duo and Best Bars Toyota 86 title rivals Jaden Ransley and Peter Vodanovich snared podium finishes as the latter come within two-laps of claiming a sublime race victory.
Two races were staged around a simulated Albert Park Street Circuit and it was a nonchalant Ben Bargwanna, a late replacement for his father Jason, who claimed the opening spoils.
Leading all 11 laps on his way to victory, the Burson Auto Parts Peugeot was not entirely left off the hook as he endured from constant pressure by a lurking John Marting, Ransley and O’Keeffe.
The following trio would trade positions multiple times before the finish, with no one able to make a move on the race leader.
Martin would hold on to second ahead of Ransley and O’Keeffe. The rest of the kiwi quartet suffered a tumultuous opening race with Rowan Shepherd the next highest driver in eighth while Vodanovich and Brock Timperley suffered separate incidents and cruised home outside the top 10.
Fortunately, the event’s second race would see the grid fully reversed and elevated Vodanovich to pole position.
The 19-year-old would lead 9 of the 11 laps only to run off the road at turn 1 in an unforced error and gift the lead to Dylan O’Keefe who had charged from eighth to the lead.
The pair had stormed away from their rivals and the significant advantage allowed Vodanovich to hold onto second position for the rest of the race.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI of Luke King would hang on to the final podium position ahead of Ransley who was another big mover in the race charging from tenth to fourth.
Timperley experienced a more controlled second race to come home in eighth while an off-track excursion consequently saw Shepherd finish in 11th and well off the leaders.
The field now heads to Mount Panorama, Bathurst for the second round of the virtual competition which starts next Thursday night.