Allen wins in final-lap dash, Bates and Murray collide

Dunlop Series
25 Feb
Kai Allen has completed a perfect first round in the Dunlop Series, with his closest rivals coming together
3 mins by James Pavey
  • Kai Allen survives last-lap dash to sweep Bathurst 500

  • Zach Bates penalised over clash for Cooper Murray

  • Aaron Cameron, Brad Vaughan complete round podium

Kai Allen has survived a last-lap dash to sweep the Thrifty Bathurst 500, with rivals Cooper Murray and Zach Bates coming together at The Cutting.

Allen (#1 Holden) clung on after late-race bp pulse Safety Car, caused by the collision between Murray and Bates, to win his second race in as many days.

Murray, for the second race in a row, crashed out. This time, however, Murray was the victim in an incident that saw Bates hit with a 30-second penalty.

The penalty dropped Bates from third on the road to 21st after the final restart, with Aaron Cameron (#27 Ford) and Brad Vaughan (#5 Ford) completing the overall podium.

"The car was on point, the team did an unreal job this weekend," Allen said.

"Stoked, what a way to finish off the weekend and start the year. Can't thank everyone enough. It's been a phenomenal round one and hopefully we can go good in Perth."

Last year's Super3 champion, Jobe Stewart, pushed Allen all the way after getting the jump when the lights went out. Allen trailed Stewart (#99 Holden) for all of three-quarters of a lap, getting past at The Chase.

Race start: Allen retakes lead after Stewart gets the jump

Unlike Saturday's race, the race ran green in the opening laps, before Matt Chahda crashed his #18 Holden at Forrest's Elbow.

On the restart, Murray was third, having rounded up Bates around Hell Corner off the start. Vaughan was fifth ahead of Cameron and Lochie Dalton (#6 Ford), with Cameron Crick (#38 Holden) eighth ahead of Rylan Gray (#55 Ford).

Gray attempted to scythe past Crick into Hell Corner, but the latter turned in and was forced onto the grass, eventually coming home 17th.

Later around the lap, Crick's teammate Murray was hit by Bates into The Cutting, with the #88 Holden jagging into the outside wall. Bates carried on, but Murray's sustained heavy front-end damage, consigning the young driver to a second DNF in as many days.

Murray and Bates collide at The Cutting

Bates was hit with a time penalty, which dropped the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver to 21st. The incident itself triggered a second Safety Car, which paved the way to a one-lap dash to the chequered flag.

Allen had 6.213km to deny Stewart an emotional victory, and completed the sweep by the official margin of 0.5825s.

Vaughan was promoted to third after Bates' penalty, with Cameron, Dalton, Gray, Max Vidau (#17 Ford), Cameron McLeod (#92 Holden), Jarrod Hughes (#118 Holden), and Super3 driver Cody Burcher (#15 Nissan) rounding out the top 10.

Allen will carry a 42-point lead over Cameron to the next round, the Perth SuperSprint, on May 17-29. Tickets for the event are on sale now.

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