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2 August 2019 | News

Honda’s John Martin goes fastest in fast Practice 2

Last-start winner John Martin tamed his wayward Honda to go fastest after the first day of the carsales TCR Australia Series meeting at Queensland Raceway.

Despite battling tail-end slides in his Civic Type R, Martin had the speed to trump Dylan O’Keefe and French visitor Jean-Karl Vernay in the second of twin 30-minute practice sessions.

His margin was just 0.0978 seconds as he lapped in 1 minute 13.9201 seconds, undercutting O’Keefe’s benchmark lap of 1:14.0776 with his Alfa Giulietta in the opening practice session.

“It’s so loose on the way into the corners. It’s going to be hard to race like that, but we’ll make some changes tomorrow,” says Martin.

“It’s early days yet. So far, so good. The bullshit stops tomorrow.”

Most drivers reported difficult cornering on the first visit by the front-wheel drive turbo TCR cars to QR, with veterans Russell Ingall and Jason Bright both running off the road in turn one.

“I took some wing out and off it went,” Bright said of the spin in his Volkswagen Golf.

Championship leader Will Brown was solid in fourth spot with his Hyundai i30N but knows he needs to improve tomorrow to fend off his championship rival, O’Keefe, who had a better first day.

“It’s not great but P4 is ok for now,” says Brown.

For Vernay, who is on his first trip to Australia, the opening day was all about learning a new car and a new track in a new timezone.

“I was over-driving a bit. But I think we are looking ok for tomorrow,” he says.

“We are improving everything and it will get better. For now it is a bit snappy.”

Further back in the field, Martin’s Honda team mate Tony D’Alberto managed eighth-quickest time while Andre Heimgartner managed 12th after sitting out the first session while his crew repaired a faulty electrical connector to the fuel injection in his Holden Astra.

Practice 2, Queensland Raceway

Pos Num Driver Team Car Time Gap
1   24 John Martin (NSW)       Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   1:13.9201
2    9 Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)    Ashley Seward Motorsport       Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1:14.0179 00.0978
3    4 Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA)  Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            1:14.0650 00.1449
4   30 William Brown (Qld)     HMO Customer Racing            Hyundai i30N         1:14.4669 00.5468
5    7 Jordan Cox (NSW)        Garry Rogers Motorsport        Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1:14.4703 00.5502
6  100 Russell Ingall (Qld)    Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            1:14.5426 00.6225
7   11 Nathan Morcom (NSW)     HMO Customer Racing            Hyundai i30N         1:14.6188 00.6987
8   50 Tony D’Alberto (Vic)    Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   1:14.6506 00.7305
9    2 Aaron Cameron (Vic)     Melbourne Performance Centre   Volkswagen Golf GTI  1:14.7626 00.8425
10  62 Alex Rullo (WA)         Kelly Racing                   Holden Astra         1:14.9116 00.9915
11   8 Jason Bright (Vic)      Taskforce / Alliance Autosport Volkswagon Golf GTI  1:14.9928 01.0727
12 777 Andre Heimgartner (NZ)  Kelly Racing                   Holden Astra       1:15.0626 01.1425
13  34 James Moffat (Vic)      Garry Rogers Motorsport        Renault Megane RS    1:15.1115 01.1914
14   3 Leanne Tander (Vic)     Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            1:15.4601 01.5400
15  33 Chris Pither (NZ)       Garry Rogers Motorsport        Renault Megane RS    1:15.6423 01.7222
16  38 Jordan Michels (NZ)     Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   1:15.8693 01.9492
17  35 Alexandra Whitley (Qld) Alliance Autosport             Volkswagon Golf GTI  1:16.4509 02.5308
18   6 Molly Taylor (NSW)      Kelly Racing                   Subaru WRX STi       1:16.5687 02.6486