TCR Australia rewind – Where it all began
In light of recent announcements regarding the production of TCR cars reaching 1000 and Audi’s latest RS 3 LMS TCR joining the local category, why not reflect on where Supercheap Auto TCR Australia began?
Back on May 17-19 of 2019 at Sydney Motorsport Park, Supercheap Auto TCR Australia began its journey with 17 entries comprised of eight manufacturers contested three 16 lap races to mark the arrival of a new touring car breed.
“It is fantastic to see 17 cars ready and revved up for the opening round of TCR Australia,” said Australian Racing Group CEO Matt Braid said prior to the first round.
“I’ve had a lot of experience with putting together big motoring and motorsport programs, but this is the most satisfying, especially seeing the Australian racing public embrace this new class with such enthusiasm.
“We have a great array of cars. Eight different brands, some serious teams and real talented drivers. This is a new style of touring car racing for Australia, but it’s one that no one is going to want to miss.”
Wall Racing’s Tony D’Alberto took the maiden TCR Australia Astrontech pole position in his Honda Civic Type R, but was beaten to the opening race victory by Alliance Autosport Volkswagen Golf GTI driver Jason Bright.
“It’s been a busy few weeks for all the teams, no one really knew where they were going to sit,” Bright reflected on the Round 1 build up.
“We’ve worked as hard as anyone and it’s a credit to our team for getting us here.
“I feel like I’ve found a sweet spot in the set-up and the car’s been strong all day.
HMO Customer Racing’s Will Brown dominated Sunday’s action to lead the title after Round 1 with two victories in his Hyundai i30 N TCR.
Dylan O’Keeffe, piloting an Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR finished runner up to Brown in both Sunday races to leave SMP second in the points.
Of course, Brown went onto seal the inaugural title for Hyundai ahead of D’Alberto as the TCR Australia field grew to 20 by the end of the season featuring 10 marques, with the addition of Peugeot and Cupra at the final round.
For 2021, Chaz Mostert, Lee Holdsworth, Michael Caruso and Jason Bargwanna joined an influx of young drivers hoping to topple the established names.
Seven manufacturers within a category high 23 entries at the past two rounds demonstrates the growth in the series, despite the impacts of the worldwide pandemic.