Drivers excited by TCR Bathurst 400 format
The season-ending TCR Bathurst 400 event, which will be held in conjunction with the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International event has received the thumbs up from a number of the category’s leading drivers.
Supercheap Auto TCR Australia will return to the Mountain on November 27-28 for a points-paying event consisting of three 21-lap races, the longest ever contested by the series.
Adding further spice to the weekend’s racing will be the grid format for Race 2, which features an inverted top 10 based from qualifying.
The highly anticipated Supercheap Auto Bathurst International will feature the debut of S5000 on the Mountain, while National Trans Am, the final endurance event for Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS, Gulf Western Oils Touring Car Masters, MRF Tyres Australian Production Cars and Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge are included on the diverse program.
We spoke to four of the leading Supercheap Auto TCR Australia drivers to gather their thoughts on the season-ending TCR Bathurst 400.
GRM Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR
I’m absolutely pumped. It’s very exciting to go back there in close to summer time, it’ll be very different to when we were there in April for that reason.
Bathurst is a special place to race at. We’ll be going guns blazing that’s for sure, I’m keen to go back and have another crack.
It’ll deliver some good racing for sure
HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR
Anytime you get to go to that venue, whether you’re first, second, fifth or last, the chances are you’re going to have a good time.
The longer race format really suits the Hyundai. The longer the races are, the better the car is, our tyre life and even our fuel burn is going to be important for an event of that duration. I have no idea what to expect, but I’m sure we’re going to be more competitive than our first outing there.
With the format that was run earlier in the year, featuring two practice sessions that were only 8-10 laps each and we’re running different tyres all the time, usually your last lap was the fastest.
It’s going to be good to do a stint where you can build on lap-after-lap for a good 10-15 laps and if it works out like that, the last five laps of each race will be off its head.
Everyone will be tuned up; it should make great viewing.
MPC Moutai Audi RS3 LMS TCR
I’m keen for any track time around Bathurst, but having longer distance races there is awesome. The thing that grabbed my attention was the inverted top 10 in Race 2, which I expect to be an interesting prospect.
It’ll be interesting to see and will certainly be a test. Races at Bathurst are always a test of man and machine. Everyone got through unscathed there at Easter, but I don’t think that will be the case in these longer races.
As the racing goes on, going through The Dipper 21 times and The Chase that many times it starts to become quite a long weekend.
I’d be expecting people to be scraping the wall by the end of those races and potentially making a few mistakes.
GRM Valvoline Peugeot 308 TCR
The longer races are certainly favourable for us. We don’t usually do really long races but 21-laps provides variables in tyre life and strategy, which I love.
Having an inverted top 10 in Race 2 is cool. It’s good to mix up the grid a bit, there will be plenty of action and I expect plenty of rubbing.
No one’s got any excuses to not do well after racing there earlier this year. The longer distance gives me more incentive to work on the Peugeot’s tyre degradation before then.
It could go either way with the longer races, but I think it will be pretty heated early on and by the end of the race it will either be settled down or be a battle to the finish.