27 September 2021 |

Tyre longevity key to TCR Bathurst 400 success

Drivers will have an even more important role to play when the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series contests its longest races of its history at the season-ending TCR Bathurst 400.

The challenge of racing  across three 21-lap races, which form the TCR Bathurst 400 will provide an unknown prospect and a higher reliance on the drivers, as leading team owner Ashley Seward emphasised.

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Overseeing Lee Holdsworth’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR, Seward highlighted the importance of preserving tyres as a a key area where the TCR Bathurst 400 will be won or lost.

“We’ll need to make sure we’ve got everything – car set-up and tyre pressures – sorted after practice and for the longer races, whilst making sure we’re not killing the front tyre,” said Seward.

“At the end of the day, it’s all driver and car dependent. We’ve killed some tyres and with the longer races the driver has to manage the tyre.

“Really with any TCR car you can tear a tyre off pretty quickly depending on how you drive the car, so there’s going to be a lot of in-put from both parties to make sure the car survives the longer runs.”

As an inaugural team owner in the series, Seward has witnessed first hand the uplift in competition and believes this adds a further component to the TCR Bathurst 400.

“I think the benchmarks have been moved massively from 2019, the first season to this current one,” Seward summarised.

“At every event, the pole time is faster, the envelope is getting pushed, the boundaries are too and we’re having to work a lot harder now. Add in Chaz (Mostert) and Lee (Holdsworth), plus the other guys coming in doing good jobs, it’s making our life hard.”

A race winning team in both seasons of Supercheap Auto TCR Australia, Seward is keen to return to two-entries and with GRM having a spare Alfa Romeo in its inventory the opportunity is there if a driver is willing to enter the category.

“No problem at all,” Seward said of returning to a two-car team. “I’d have another car tomorrow if I could put someone in it.

“Infrastructure-wise and all that, it’s not the problem, just finding the right person is the biggest thing.”

Ashley Seward Motorsport has taken five Supercheap Auto TCR Australia victories in the category’s history.