Racers thrilled with first drives of TCR cars at Winton test
The first batch of Australian TCR drivers have left Winton raving about their new cars as the hype builds towards the inaugural round of the TCR Australia Series at Sydney Motorsport Park on May 17-19.
Twelve TCR cars cut laps at the Winton Raceway today in an open test session as teams and drivers start to get into race mode for the opening round.
Almost all of the confirmed drivers were able to sample their new cars and were glowing of the performances of the pocket rocket racers.
No official lap times were recorded from the test.
For many teams, it was the first time that they had the chance to put their new TCR cars to test, with hundreds of laps covered around the rural track.
Subaru rally star Molly Taylor was a popular figure in pit lane, attracting the lion’s share of media attention as she gets to grip with her new circuit racing role.
The Hyundai HMO Customer Racing team brought one car to the test, allowing young gun Will Brown his first laps in the i30 N TCR. Both Brown and Nathan Morcom are confident that the Hyundai will be competitive in the 2019 series.
Jason Bright enjoyed a productive day in his ex-Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTI, cutting laps in both his Team Tradie car and the other Golf in his stable. The driver for the second car will be announced in due course.
The only confirmed cars that were not at Winton were the Garry Rogers Motorsport-prepared Renault Meganes and one of Kelly Racing’s Opel Astras. Those three cars will arrive in Australia this week ahead of the opening round in Sydney on May 17-19.
Every TCR Australia race across the seven rounds will be broadcast live, free and in HD on SBS. The races will also be live streamed, available to view on the TCR Australia website.
Tickets for the opening event at Sydney Motorsport Park are now on sale via the Shannons Nationals website. CLICK HERE to secure your tickets and see Australian touring car history being made …
Wall Racing driver Tony D'Alberto will represent Honda in the TCR Australia Series this year. Click on image for high-resolution options.
Driver, Kelly Racing TCR
“It was a big first day for me here at Winton. There was a lot to take in and so much to learn but I really enjoyed the day with Kelly Racing and I know what I need to work on heading to Round 1 in Sydney,” said Molly Taylor.
“I have had a taste of the Subaru TCR car previously in Europe, but the conditions here are very different and today I had an engineer and data to work with so that part of it was new to me and that’s where I have a lot to learn.
“I’m used to having someone else in the car talking to me so I was all alone in the car, and adjusting to tarmac from gravel was a huge learning experience as it requires the driver to be very precise, so those were the key differences for me.
“On top of that, throw in 15 other cars on track trying to beat each other rather than just me against the clock, so that’s something to look forward to when the series gets underway.”
Driver, Team Tradie VW
“I’ve driven a lot of different cars in my career, from GT cars to Le Mans Prototypes, Sports Cars and Open Wheelers, and the TCR is a lot of fun to drive,” said Will Brown.
“I expect the racing is going to be awesome because the cars move and bounce around so much and it’s going to create plenty of excitement for the fans.
“It’s a new category in Australia, the cars are still very fresh and teams haven’t had the chance to do any testing yet so it’s a very level playing field in that regard and I think that’s a good thing.
“The cars are running well have run really well here and we can’t wait to get to Sydney.”
Driver, HMO Customer Racing
“They’re fast, they look tough and they feel great to drive out on track. It was certainly a different feeling getting used to the front wheel drive, but once I got used to that it I loved every second of it, it was a ball of fun to steer,” said Will Brown.
“The TCR cars are on a world scale as we can see they’re huge in Europe. Compared to the home grown Supercars, the V8s are a bit faster but this is completely different to drive.
“The test day so far has been great and hopefully when we get to Sydney in two weeks we can be really competitive from the outset.”