11 August 2021 |

Pressure mounts in fierce series fight

An intense final three rounds of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia will place pressure on teams and drivers to perform as a battle royale is taking shape.

Sandown, The Bend Motorsport Park and Bathurst conclude the second season of Supercheap Auto TCR Australia where the importance to perform will be at an optimum due to the closeness in points between second and 13th.

Series leader Chaz Mostert has by far been the most consistent, finishing just once out of the top 10 due to a tyre failure at Phillip Island and in turn leads the title by 106-points.

However, a similar 108-point margin separates Luke King in second to 13th-placed Michael Caruso in a battle where opportunity brings pressure to perform in each remaining race.

“It’s all about consistency,” said Ashley Seward Motorsport driver Lee Holdsworth, who is placed sixth in the standings.

“With this series being only seven-rounds long, you just can’t afford to have a bad round and we’ve had two or three of those.

“We need to make sure the end of the year is strong for us and we capitalise on speed and get the points.”

Holdsworth started the season off strongly on debut in the ASM Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR at Symmons Plains, but has since endured an up and down campaign.

To improve consistency, Holdsworth completed a test at Winton where set-up changes completed at Supercheap Auto TCR Australia’s previous round at Sydney Motorsport Park were validated in anticipation of a late season charge.

“I felt at the start of the year we certainly had a car that was in the window, but people have found little tweaks throughout the year that have improved their cars,” said Holdsworth.

“It’s not necessarily that we’ve gone backwards in terms of our speed, but people have gone forwards and we’ve probably sat still a little bit.

“It’s trying to catch back up now and gain back the points we’ve lost from reliability and a bit of lack of speed.

“We’ve got to make the most of year so we can hopefully finish at the pointy end of the series with three rounds to go.”

Holdsworth finished on the podium when he last raced at Sandown, but dismissed the fact previous form dictates a good result.

“Last time I was there was 2019, but now it’s a completely different kettle of fish,” he said.

“Sydney Motorsport Park is usually one of my strong ones as well and that didn’t go great in the TCR car, so I don’t think that’s anything to go by.

“I don’t think it matters what track you’re at, if your car is in a good window with set-up then you’re going to do well and that’s our focus.”

The next round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series will be held at Sandown International Raceway on September 17-19.