Top Honda form ensures Island confidence for Tony D’Alberto
Confidence ahead of Phillip Island is one thing Wall Racing’s Tony D’Alberto has after an impressive form reversal at Symmons Plains, a previous bogey circuit for the Honda Civic Type R.
Honda struggled at Symmons Plains last year, but in 2022 D’Alberto scored two podiums and privateer Zac Soutar scored a maiden Supercheap Auto TCR Australia victory in what was a stunning improvement after leaving AWC Race Tasmania third in the standings.
Now approaching a circuit the Civic Type R TCR has traditionally gone well at, the Honda Australia-supported driver is aiming to be the 18th driver to score a victory in Supercheap Auto TCR Australia.
“Last year, Phillip Island was good for us as we won the round on points, but didn’t win a race,” D’Alberto recalled on the Parked Up Podcast.
“I’m pretty happy with how we rolled out at Symmons Plains, that’s given us good momentum. I’m going there with a fair bit of confidence and I think we can do a good job.
“The Honda’s strengths should suit Phillip Island better than what it did at Symmons Plains.”
D’Alberto shares current Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series leader Josh Buchan’s view regarding Jay Hanson in his latest specification Audi being the biggest threat at Phillip Island.
“The Audis were quite quick there last year,” said D’Alberto.
“I reckon Jay Hanson will be quick in that new Audi, there’s probably no doubt about that and the Hyundais are always quick, the Peugeots were good there last year as well.
“I don’t think you can really discount anyone this year, but I’m pretty sure we’re going to be in the mix.”
Series runner up during the inaugural 2019 season, D’Alberto is yet to score victory and is hoping to repay the faith Honda Australia continue to demonstrate through its support, which continues into a third season.
“I’d really like to do it because Honda has put a lot of faith in me to represent the brand and I’d like nothing more than to stand on the top step for them, and to give them something to really celebrate,” D’Alberto explained.
“I’d like to, it doesn’t play on my mind, I’m doing the best I can every race and if an opportunity comes up, we’ll grab it.
“We were close at Symmons Plains and we’ll see how we roll out at Phillip Island.”
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.