Two Volkswagens for Purple Sector at TCR Bathurst 400
Privateer Supercheap Auto TCR Australia team Purple Sector will expand to two entries for the TCR Bathurst 400, with Keegan Brain joining the team in a second Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
In a one-event deal, Brain will drive the Golf GTI TCR raced by Chelsea Angelo at selected rounds this season in a lease deal coordinated between Purple Sector and Melbourne Performance Centre.
Brain returns to racing after a predominately open-wheeler background competing in Australian Formula 3 and Asian Formula BMW, but was attracted by the international relevance of TCR.
“I think it’s a really good series,” Brain said. “I think it’s getting a lot of traction at the moment, it’s the big name category for Australian Racing Group and it’s something that I can go race overseas as well in the same if not similar cars.
“Front-wheel-drive is not a foreign concept to me as I do a lot of track work in hot hatches. The TCR has more power, more tyre and more brake, but in terms of characteristics in how the car drives off the corner and rotates, it’s not much different.”
Brain successfully tested the Golf GTI TCR recently with support from Melbourne Performance Centre at Phillip Island yesterday.
Brain’s driver coach, McLaren GT factory driver Harry Hayek was also on hand and will fulfil the role of data engineer at Bathurst.
“I’m really looking forward to Bathurst now and I now have confidence in the car now,” Brain explained.
“I really got it moving about just to get a hold of it because it’s a unique car. Acclimatising to it was key and thanks to Harry we managed to throw more corner speed at it where we started hitting the limits of the car to find what feels best.”
A Lithgow native, Brain will carry support from the local area, Bathurst business RWC (Regional West Constructions) taking primary sponsorship alongside Orange-based companies Grounded Electrical and Data, and Chill-Rite.
“It’s good to get local support and it’s getting a lot of traction at the moment,” he said.
“For me growing up, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and for it to be a 1000 week, it’s huge.”
The TCR Bathurst 400 is a dip the toes exercise for Brain as he investigates entering next year’s Supercheap Auto TCR Australia together with Purple Sector.
“We’re going to see how we go at Bathurst and then we’ll form a game plan from there into 2022,” Brain summarised.
For Mineeff, Purple Sector’s expansion comes after its debut in Supercheap Auto TCR Australia at Phillip Island as it weighs up maintaining a second entry into 2022.
“Keegan expressed an interest in TCR and we were able to source a car from Melbourne Performance Centre,” Mineeff explained.
“We have a relationship with Lee (Burley), Troy (Russell) and the team at MPC through technical support, so to be running the only two Volkswagens in the country at the moment is a great opportunity.
“We want to see how we go on a team and personnel level as it’s something we’d like to pursue in the future.”
The final round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series is the TCR Bathurst 400 on November 30-December 4.