Quick adaption to TCR a surprise for Bailey Sweeny
HMO Customer Racing’s latest recruit Bailey Sweeny turned heads in his maiden appearance in Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series at AWC Race Tasmania as his transition continues.
A graduate from the Toyota 86 Racing Series, Sweeny set top 10 times in practice before impressively entering the second segment of qualifying, starting his first race from eighth ahead of experienced pair Aaron Cameron and Jordan Cox.
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Sweeny scored silverware in just his second race on what was a successful weekend for HMO Customer Racing.
“There were plenty of positives to take away from the weekend,” Sweeny said.
“Going into the next few rounds I want to harness the potential we demonstrated at Symmons Plains.
“I think the pace is definitely good, I’ve just got to try and put it together to get some results.”
Having participated in HMO Customer Racing’s driver evaluation day at Wakefield Park late last year, Sweeny continued his transition at a shakedown for the team at the same venue before heading to AWC Race Tasmania.
“It couldn’t be more different to the 86, but I’m actually surprised how quick I’ve come to grips with it,” Sweeny reflected.
“It’s a matter of finetuning is what we’re chasing to get the most out of me, but to get to grips with it at the start it was actually surprisingly very quick.
“The i30 N TCR is a very good platform, so it didn’t take me too long to get up to speed.”
Mentors in helping adapt to the i30 N TCR are not far away with the experienced Rob Benson within the operation in addition to race winning drivers Nathan Morcom and Josh Buchan.
“The HMO Customer Racing operation is very professional and the team has given me a big hand in getting to grips with the i30 N TCR,” Sweeny explained. “It’s definitely a lot different to what I’m used to.
“Everybody in the team has been phenomenal, they’ve got heaps of knowledge behind them so that has so far helped my growth in TCR that’s for sure.
“Any questions I have, I can go to Nathan or Josh and both have been nothing but helpful. I couldn’t ask for better teammates.”
After racing at Symmons Plains for the first time, Sweeny moves to another new circuit for him in the form of Phillip Island where the i30 N TCR has proven in the past to be a proven package, although results have gone begging.
“I’ve definitely gained more confidence heading into Round 2 and the i30 N TCRs appear to be strong performers this year,” Sweeny summarised.
“Looking back at how the Hyundais went last year at Phillip Island, it looks like it might be another good round for us, so I’m keen to head down there and put in a good showing.”
The second round of Supercheap Auto TCR Australia will be part of the opening Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships event of the season at Phillip Island on March 18-20.
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Anyone wishing to attend the event is reminded tickets will not be available for purchase at the gate. Tickets must be purchased via Eventbrite prior to entry. Purchasing your tickets in advance will save you time at the gate.