Aaron Cameron scorches the Mountain to score first TCR pole position
Valvoline Team GRM’s Aaron Cameron has won out in an exciting duel with stablemate Jordan Cox to take his first Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series pole position during a stunning Astrontech Qualifying session.
Series leader Tony D’Alberto set the early benchmark in his Honda Australia Wall Racing Civic Type R TCR at a 2m 17.848s, but this was eclipsed first by the Burson Auto Parts Peugeot of Ben Bargwanna, then yesterday’s fast man Cox and finally by Cameron during the first part of qualifying.
However, the Valvoline Team GRM driver wasn’t finished as the very next lap he shattered the lap record to drop into the 2m 13s for the first time. Bargwanna also joined Cameron in the same bracket, but was 0.717s in arrears.
Cox completed a Peugeot trifecta in the first part of qualifying just as Michael Caruso’s Ashley Seward Motorsport-ran Autoglym Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR stopped exiting The Dipper.
Behind the Peugeot, HMO Customer Racing rookie Bailey Sweeny impressed in fourth driving the Hyundai i30 N TCR, while James Moffat displayed the pace he had at last year’s finale to end the first segment in fifth piloting the LMCT+ Racing GRM Renault Megane R.S. TCR.
Others to make the cut were D’Alberto, Schaeffler GRM’s Dylan O’Keeffe, Will Brown in the LIQUI MOLY Team MPC Audi, series debutant in the Stan Sport Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR Tim Slade and Caruso, although he did not participate.
D’Alberto again set the early benchmark with a 2m 14.035s, but this was bettered by Brown and O’Keeffe.
Anticipation was mounting as Cameron crossed the line and he did not disappoint as he set a 2m 13.080s, while Cox blew the time out of the water as he dipped to a 2m 12.786s.
The battle between the pair continued as Cameron amazingly went better again to a 2m 12.767s to edge stablemate Cox by 0.019s.
The pair didn’t improve on their final run, Cameron in particular had a moment through The Esses and managed to keep it off the fence.
One GRM driver who did improve on their last run was Bargwanna after setting a 2m 13.178s time to be third alongside O’Keeffe leaving Peugeot locking out the first two rows.
Slade will share the third row with Moffat in both equally impressive performances, while series leader D’Alberto was seventh ahead of Brown and Sweeny after troubles with his front splitter.
Supercheap Auto TCR Australia’s opening race is at 2:45pm AEST live and uninterrupted on Stan Sport.