20 September 2019 | Featured

Honda international fastest again in Practice 2

Import ace Nestor Girolami continued his rampaging run at the front of the carsales TCR Australia series as he gapped the field in the second of two Friday practice sessions.

Taking advantage of brand-new Michelin tyres, while his rivals ran around on used racing rubber, he set the standard with a 1 minute 14.1641 second lap in his Honda Civic Type R.

Liam McAdam popped up into second place with his Audi RS3 with a time of 1:15.8172 while title leader Will Brown concentrated on his race set-up but still managed third in his Hyundai i30 N on 1:16.0349

John Martin, who is doing double duty as an S5000 driver the same as Brown, put in one attacking lap with his Honda for fourth as Andre

Heimgartner banked the benefits of major suspension changes to finish fifth in his Holden Astra.

“Now I like the car more than before. Now I feel more confident,” Girolami says after his second session at Sandown.

“We made some changes. Now we can push a bit more.”

But he admits he will need more work on his starts to ensure a quick getaway in the weekend’s three TCR sprints.

“Yes, too much wheelspin. I will have to work on that,” he smiles.

For Brown, the long game and maximum points is more important than a single quick lap.

“We did a race run and other people put on fresh tyres,” he says.

“We just want to have a good race pace. We’re not fussed at all.

“That’s alright. P2 is not too bad.”

Girolami’s Honda team mates Martin and Tony D’Alberto are both learning and benefitting from the experience of the two JAS team engineers in the Argentinian’s entourage.

“We tuned it up. It’s gone from undriveable to something we can work with,” says Brown.

“We made a few chaanges that went my way,” says D’Alberto.

The only signficiant drama in the session, after Garry Rogers’ crew machined a new part at their nearby workshop to fix a turbo problem on James

Moffat’s 11th-placed Renault Megane RS, was Jordan Cox’s Alfa, which was parked after a stone holed the radiator.

Track action continues tomorrow with qualifying at 10:15am and Race 1 scheduled for 1:10pm AEST.

More to follow

Results: TCR Australia Practice 2, Sandown 

Pos Num Driver Team Car Lap Gap
1   38 Nestor Girolami (ARG)   Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   1:14.1631
2   97 Liam McAdam (Qld)       Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            1:15.6113 01.4482
3   24 John Martin (NSW)       Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   1:15.6686 01.5055
4   30 William Brown (Qld)     HMO Customer Racing            Hyundai i30N         1:15.8172 01.6541
5  777 Andre Heimgartner (NZ)  Kelly Racing                   Holden Astra         1:16.1090 01.9459
6   50 Tony D’Alberto (Vic)    Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   1:16.1236 01.9605
7  100 Russell Ingall (Qld)    Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            1:16.1416 01.9785
8   62 Bryce Fullwood (NT)     Kelly Racing                   Holden Astra         1:16.1935 02.0304
9    3 Garth Tander (Vic)      Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            1:16.4175 02.2544
10   8 Jason Bright (Vic)      Taskforce/Melb Performance Cnt Volkswagon Golf GTI  1:16.6175 02.4544
11   9 Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)    Ashley Seward Motorsport       Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1:16.6387 02.4756
12  34 James Moffat (Vic)      Garry Rogers Motorsport        Renault Megane RS    1:16.6712 02.5081
13  11 Nathan Morcom (NSW)     HMO Customer Racing            Hyundai i30N         1:17.0852 02.9221
14  33 Chris Pither (NZ)       Garry Rogers Motorsport        Renault Megane RS    1:17.2324 03.0693
15   2 Aaron Cameron (Vic)     Melbourne Performance Centre   Volkswagen Golf GTI  1:17.6857 03.5226
16  35 Alexandra Whitley (Qld) Melbourne Performance Centre   Volkswagon Golf GTI  1:19.8405 05.6774
17   7 Jordan Cox (NSW)        Garry Rogers Motorsport        Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1:20.5523 06.3892