Top five the target for leading rookie Bailey Sweeny
HMO Customer Racing’s impressive rookie Bailey Sweeny aims to cap off a strong maiden Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series campaign with a top five finish in the title.
Sweeny is lead rookie by a considerable margin in what has been a stunning performance so far in this year’s series, highlighted by victory in a hotly contested affair at the Mountain.
With two rounds remaining, Sweeny is placed ninth in the standings ahead of his more experienced teammate Nathan Morcom and is eyeing a place within the top five at season’s end.
“Top five is definitely within reach and my form at Bathurst was pretty good so I hope we can string a good end to the year together to be in there by the end of the season,” Sweeny said.
“We had a DNF in Tassie and if we didn’t have that, we’d be I think fourth in the standings. You can make a little mistake and it puts you back considerably, as did a bad round in Sydney otherwise we’d be right up there.”
A major breakthrough at Queensland Raceway has increased his confidence heading to Sandown where Sweeny believes the i30 N TCR will come into its own.
“Hopefully it suits the little i30 as the big braking zones and high speed corners are a bit of a strong point, so I’m really looking forward to it,” said Sweeny.
“It was my first time racing at Sandown a few weeks ago and it provided good racing, so I’m keen to get back there.
“Racing there a couple of weeks ago definitely displayed a few weak points in my driving around Sandown, but it gives me time to work on it and improve for when I return.
“I felt pretty comfortable in the car, it’s pretty easy to drive and I’m just finetuning myself in the i30.
“At Queensland Raceway, we made some big gains and I’m looking forward to purring it into action down here.”
Sweeny revealed further on these gains as the benefits were realised immediately at Queensland Raceway.
“Mainly in myself working with the car,” he disclosed. “We found what I liked more in the car and I was able to tune that direction more, which I’ve had some lap time gains from that.
“We’ve had a pretty strong year except for the SMP round, but especially at Queensland Raceway where we were able to fight back from 14th to fourth, so very confident the pace is there and in qualifying as well.”
The young gun also hinted of his intention to continue in Supercheap Auto TCR Australia in 2023 to build on his maiden season.
“We’ve been a bit unlucky at rounds we haven’t maximised, which is promising for next year and I’m looking forward to it,” he stated.”
The next round of the SpeedSeries encompassing the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series takes place at Sandown on September 16-18.