Ashley Seward Motorsport has expanded to two Alfa Romeo Giuliettas for final round of the carsales TCR Australia Series at The Bend Motorsport Park this weekend.
After taking delivery of a new Giulietta Veloce earlier this week, team owner Ash Seward has elected to enter it for the final round and will give Australian international racer James Allen a chance to debut in the burgeoning under two litre touring car class.
Allen, 23, was born and raised in Perth, completing his junior racing on home soil in karting before heading to Europe, competing for the past seven years in a variety of international formula.
He started his globetrotting with a season in Formula BMW before three years in various Formula Renault classes, competing against the likes of current Formula 1 drivers Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Alex Albon and George Russell.
He progressed to the European Le Mans Series, winning races in the LMP2 class and finishing third in the 2017 championship.
He also made a start in the category’s LMP1 class, as well as racing in the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona, claiming a LMP2 class pole position for Dragon Speed.
The event at The Bend will be Allen’s first race motor race in a touring car, but he got an early opportunity to test the car at Winton Motor Raceway yesterday, alongside the team’s regular driver Dylan O’Keeffe.
Allen’s Giulietta Veloce is represented in the same livery as O’Keeffe’s car, save for the unique sponsorship that Allen carries from Ringwood Mazda.
O’Keeffe currently sits second in the series but has a fight on his hands to retain that place, with Tony D’Alberto (Honda), Aaron Cameron (Volkswagen) and Nathan Morcom (Hyundai) all breathing down his neck.
The final round of the carsales TCR Australia Series will kick off with two practice sessions on Friday, followed by qualifying and Race 1 on Saturday and two races on Sunday.
The TCR Australia Series, as well as the all-new S5000 open wheel class can be seen live, free and in HD on SBS, as well as the live stream produced by the Shannons Nationals.
CLICK HERE to secure your tickets to The Bend Motorsport Park.
Driver, Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo
“This is the first front wheel driver car that I’ve raced, and probably the heaviest race car I’ve ever driven too, so it will be a whole new game,” said James Allen.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it. It’s always nice to try something different, but I had a test at Winton and that helped me get up to speed.
“At the moment, it’s just a one-off race for me. If I enjoy it, I’ll look into doing it next year if it doesn’t clash with any of my racing in Europe, and it will be nice to race back at home for once!
“I’ve been watching the TCR Australia races online. It looks close and it looks like it will be good fun. I’m just excited to get amongst it.”
Team owner, Ashley Seward Motorsport
“The new Alfa Romeo only arrived this week, so we’ve done some preparations, did the test yesterday and now we are ready for The Bend,” said Ash Seward.
“The new car is basically the same Dylan’s car. It is newer, so it is just slightly more refined in some areas.
“We’ve spoken to a number of drivers about next year, including James, but our focus is just to get through The Bend, do our best to secure second place in the series for Dylan and then we’ll turn our attention to 2020.”