Dylan O’Keeffe – We need more speed
Although he has closed the margin to Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series leader Tony D’Alberto, GRM Schaeffler’s Dylan O’Keeffe has stated there is work to be done to unlock more speed from his Peugeot 308 TCR after Sydney Motorsport Park.
Following a disappointing season in 2021, O’Keeffe has rebounded strongly to sit second in the standings heading into the mid-season break. Having already scored three podiums this year, O’Keeffe has suited the change to Peugeot perfectly, but believes more needs to be found to ensure he can remain in the title fight.
“The car performed consistently last weekend, but we’d like a bit more outright speed to be able to challenge for top three results more regularly, so there’s some work to do before the next round,” said O’Keeffe.
“This weekend wasn’t spectacular, but it was valuable for my title campaign. With the top 10 reverse-grid format and the points system that punishes DNFs, it’s all about minimising bad results rather than necessarily needing to win a lot of races.”
It was a frantic weekend of racing, especially during the opening few laps as drivers aimed to maximise early and O’Keeffe was in the thick of it after making a great launch in the first event.
However, if there weren’t early gains made it may have been a different story.
“In practice, we were struggling with a lack of grip but we made some positive changes to the car for qualifying,” O’Keeffe said.
O’Keeffe’s target was to remain out of trouble and he managed to do this despite some close calls.
“Everyone was very enthusiastic on the first lap, because you can gain a big advantage if you’re aggressive on cold tyres,” O’Keeffe said.
“I launched really well and I made up a couple of places on the run into Turn 2. After that, it was a case of keeping my nose clean and capitalising on some dramas for a couple of other competitors.
“There were a couple of near misses and once again, I just concentrated on avoiding incidents.”
Despite O’Keeffe failing to score a podium at Sydney Motorsport Park his consistent finishes of fourth, seventh and fifth ensures his record of scoring top 10 results in every race he has finished this year continues.
The final three rounds of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series will be a thrilling affair as the first 11 positions in the standings are covered by under 100-points leading into the back half of the season, which will resume at Queensland Raceway on August 5-7.