All eight car brands in the carsales.com.au TCR Australia Series have finished inside the top 10 during the second practice session at Sydney Motorsport Park today.
Hyundai driver Michael Almond topped the second session, matching his efforts from Practice 1 earlier today.
The result has blown away many of his rivals as Almond had not driven the car prior to the event, and was only a late confirmed starter in the brand-new under 2-litre touring car class.
Second place went to Dylan O’Keeffe in his Ashley Seward Motorsport-prepared Alfa Romeo. After struggling in the first practice session, O’Keeffe said that he made one set-up change, added two new green front Michelins and blasted his way to second on the timesheets.
Honda driver John Martin was third overall, the same result that he set in Practice 1. Martin did endure a big moment, though after blowing a tyre during the final moments of the session.
Nathan Morcom (Hyundai), Tony D’Alberto (Honda), Jason Bright (Volkswagen), Rik Breukers (Audi), Andre Heimgartner (Subaru), James Moffat (Renault) and Alex Rullo (Holden) rounded out the top 10.
Rullo was lucky to avoid damage when he had a wild spin at turn one, causing a red flag that ultimately ended the session.
Will Brown’s Hyundai did not make it onto the circuit after the HMO Customer Racing team discover a steering issue prior to the start of the session.
Qualifying and Race 1 of the carsales TCR Australia Series will be held tomorrow, with the race broadcast live, free and in HD on SBS from 2-3pm AEST.
Driver, GWR Australia
“We couldn’t have had a much better day to start the TCR Australia season,” said Almond.
“GWR Australia and Platinum Motorsport have done a great job putting this Hyundai I30N together.
“Astrontech and Commercial Interior Projects have been kind enough to support our efforts this weekend, so I was happy to perform for them early with our best foot forward for the rest of the weekend.
“This deal only came about last week so I was very lucky to have this opportunity and certainly didn’t think I would have that kind of pace so early but it is only practice so qualifying is still to come.
“The field is very strong and some of the teams out there were having issues so i’m sure they won’t let us get away with it for much longer.”
Driver, Ashley Seward Motorsport
“The Ash Seward Motorsport Alfa was great by the end of Practice 2. We put in some good times and ended second for the session,” said O’Keeffe.
“We’re really happy with the car now. There was no denying that we struggled in Practice 1 but come Practice 2 we had a few ideas early in the session which didn’t work out. We made one change and put on some green front tyres and went two seconds quicker straight up.
“It was good to be up the front and only a tenth of Michael Almond, but we’ll study the data overnight and hopefully come back stronger for Qualifying tomorrow.”
Driver, Wall Racing Honda
“To get third in both sessions today was a good start to our campaign for us at Wall Racing in the Honda Civic Type-R,” said Martin.
“We have so much to learn with these cars and in every aspect with the team learning to prepare the and myself learning to get the most out of it on track.
“We’re looking into the dual tyre failures with our engineers and with Michelin tonight, they both happened one lap apart from each other at the exact same part of the circuit.
“This car is totally different to anything i’ve driven in the past, but they’re amazingly fun cars to drive, they move around and they’re properly challenging to drive in that respect.
“I’m loving the challenge and this steep learning curve ahead of us in TCR Australia and I think this first race is going to be crazy, I can’t wait.”
RESULTS, PRACTICE 2
|1||29 GWR Australia||Michael Almond (SA)||Hyundai I30N||1:34.6368*|
|2||9 Ashley Seward Motorsport||Dylan O’Keeffe (VIC)||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||1:34.7835||0:00.1467|
|3||24 Wall Racing||John Martin (NSW)||Honda Civic Type R||1:35.2636||0:00.6268|
|4||11 HMO Customer Racing||Nathan Morcom (NSW)||Hyundai I30N||1:35.5899||0:00.9531|
|5||50 Wall Racing||Tony D’Alberto (VIC)||Honda Civic Type R||1:35.7904||0:01.1536|
|6||8 Alliance Autosport||Jason Bright (VIC)||Volkswagen Golf GTI||1:35.9824||0:01.3456|
|7||22 Melbourne Performance||Rik Breukers (NED)||Audi RS 3||1:36.5489||0:01.9121|
|8||777 Kelly Racing||Andre Heimgartner (NZ)||Subaru WRX STI||1:36.7026||0:02.0658|
|9||34 Garry Rogers Motorsport||James Moffat (VIC)||Renault Magane RS||1:36.9320||0:02.2952|
|10||62 Kelly Racing||Alex Rullo (WA)||Holden Astra||1:37.9029||0:03.2661|
|11||7 Garry Rogers Motorsport||Jimmy Vernon (NSW)||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||1:38.2218||0:03.5850|
|12||33 Garry Rogers Motorsport||Chris Pither (NZ)||Renault Magane RS||1:38.3072||0:03.6704|
|13||6 Kelly Racing||Molly Taylor (NSW)||Subaru WRX STI||1:38.4894||0:03.8526|
|14||37 Kelly Racing||Chelsea Angelo (VIC)||Holden Astra||1:39.1812||0:04.5444|
|15||35 Alliance Autosport||Alexandra Whitley (QLD)||Volkswagen Golf GTI||1:39.1971||0:04.5603|
|16||2 Melbourne Performance||Aaron Cameron (VIC)||Volkswagen Golf GTI||1:39.2013||0:04.5645|