Allen wins after Best penalty, heartbreak for Morse

Dunlop Series
07 Oct
Kai Allen has slashed Zak Best's Super2 points lead in a topsy-turvy Bathurst finale
3 mins by James Pavey
  • Best false start penalty, Morse DNF gifts victory to Allen

  • Morse was in position to win until retiring with two laps to go

  • McLeod sweeps Super3 round, finishes 11th overall in Race 2

Kai Allen has benefited from a penalty for Super2 title rival Zak Best to win an enthralling Dunlop Series finale in Bathurst, as Zane Morse suffered late heartbreak.

Best crossed the line 4.1023s ahead of Allen, but a five-second penalty over a false start turned into a race victory for Allen by 0.8977s.

It marked Allen’s second Super2 victory of the season and first since Townsville, with the Eggleston Motorsport teenager also claiming round honours.

Heading to the season-ending VAILO Adelaide 500, Best leads Allen by 30 points, with the latter winning the Bathurst round by just three points.

"It was a full-on race, there was lots going on," said Allen, who will make his Great Race debut on Sunday with Simona De Silvestro and the Shell V-Power Racing Team.

"I didn't get a very good start, but I knew Zak was on the verge of getting a penalty, which is a bit unfortunate, you don't want that to happen.

"I went across the line and they were celebrating and I was like, 'What for?' It's an unreal result, I'm so thankful for the team."

The race victory appeared set to land in Morse’s lap as the AIM Motorsport driver hounded Best home. However, with two laps to go, Morse slowed as he ran out of fuel, and retired in the pits.


Best was adjusted to second in the results, with Zach Bates and Ryan Wood third and fourth for Walkinshaw Andretti United ahead of Cooper Murray. Bates was third for the round.

Highlights: Race 2 2023 Dunlop Series Bathurst

It was another victory for Cameron McLeod, meanwhile, who claimed Super3 honours in 11th overall. Mason Kelly, son of 2005 Bathurst winner Todd, came home second in class and 15th overall ahead of rookie Valentino Astuti.

The flashpoint of the race occurred before it officially began, with Best rolling over his grid box before the lights went out. A slow-starting Allen was rounded up by Morse, with Wood almost stalling and dropping from third to ninth.

It was a worse fate for Brad Vaughan, who stalled in front of the field and dropped to the rear of the field. Vaughan finished 10th overall after a smart recovery drive, with his rivals avoiding front-to-rear contact.

Wood fought his way back into contention, picking off Jay Hanson, Aaron Cameron and Cooper Murray by lap 5. Nash Morris was next up road, but he was forced into the pits and into retirement. The time lost saw Wood eight seconds behind Best by the midway point of the race.

Best false start, Vaughan stall headline dramatic start

Morse kept Best within reach, with the margin hovering at a second. Best opened up the margin to two seconds with five laps to go, and with three laps to go, Morse suddenly slowed while in a race-winning position.

Allen motored past an ailing Morse through The Chase, and the latter pulled his Ford into the lane and into heartbreaking retirement.

By that time, Best led Allen by 5.2s, which would have been enough to secure victory despite the penalty. However, the deficit was slashed to 3.2s in quick time, before Best drove away to a 4.1s margin by the time he crossed the line.

However, Allen remained close enough to steal the race and round win, with Best missing out on his record-equalling third Super2 round victory at Mount Panorama.

The 2023 Dunlop Series will conclude at the VAILO Adelaide 500 on November 23-26.

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