A welcome return to the Mountain for Willmington family
Easter was a special occasion for the Braydan Willmington as he completed his first racing laps around Mount Panorama, a circuit his father Garry raced at for more than two decades.
Racing at a track his family has significant history at wasn’t lost on Willmington as his confidence continues to grow during his maiden Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series season.
“It was really good to finally race at a place dad has so much respect for and loves so dearly,” Willmington professed.
“The car has got a lot of potential here. I just need to work on learning the place and you can’t do that in one race meeting.
“What I’ve learnt from Bathurst has been a massive help and it’s given me a bit more confidence for the next round because I feel more comfortable here than I did at Phillip Island.”
Although confidence grew across the weekend, Willmington admitted it was a difficult task racing around Australia’s world renowned mountain circuit.
“It was a challenge, a big challenge,” reflected Willmington.
“It was a great weekend regardless. Going side-by-side across the top with Lachlan [Mineeff] was very good, we have a lot of respect because we left each other room and it could have ended in tears big time.
“I’ve known Lachlan for a long time so I know I can race hard with him and I have confidence that we won’t touch. Once I got up the field having battles with other drivers it was much more enjoyable.”
A highlight for many drivers at Bathurst was Race 2 held in the twilight, however with news Sydney Motorsport Park will host the first night event for Supercheap Auto TCR Australia, which is a return to the norm in some respects for ex-Speedway contender Willmington.
“I’m all for racing under lights,” he enthused.
“It will definitely be cool to have a run there under lights, that will be unreal. It will change a few things with tyre pressures and car set-up, but it’ll be a good race.”
But returning to a circuit he is familiar with and having tested his Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR at the venue before the season started, Willmington believes his prospects appear good for Sydney Motorsport Park.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to a track that I’ve been to before, albeit in the S5000,” Willmington said. “It’s definitely going to be a good round the next one I’d say.
“We’re looking forward to it.”
With a six-week gap between rounds, an opportunity to hit the track in between was being targeted by the Willmington team.
“Whether the budget allows us to do that or not I don’t know, but hopefully we can get a test in even if it’s just a track day to get some laps around there,” Willmington confirmed.
The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series headlines the third round of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships where fellow Australian Racing Group categories the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship, Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters and Turtle Wax Trans Am Series feature.
Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge, the Australian Production Car Series, Radical Cup and the Australian Prototype Series complete a stacked program of categories.
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All the action can be viewed live and uninterrupted on Stan Sport, while a highlights package will be broadcast after the event on 9Gem (times to be advised).