Tony D’Alberto the driver to catch as Supercheap Auto TCR Australia enters penultimate round
Supercheap Auto TCR Australia makes its return to historic Sandown Raceway for the first time in three years, with Victorian Tony D’Alberto the form driver entering the penultimate round this weekend.
After securing his first two victories last time out at Queensland Raceway driving the Honda-supported Wall Racing Civic Type R TCR, D’Alberto is on home ground as the team returns to a circuit where it dominated in 2019 when visiting WTCR star Nestor Girolami took all three wins.
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However, aiming to close the 58-point deficit to D’Alberto is Swyftx GRM Peugeot’s Jordan Cox after a disappointing run up north and will be aiming to rebound on Garry Rogers Motorsport’s home turf.
Young gun Jay Hanson has won a race at every round this year except for Bathurst and after witnessing Supercheap Auto TCR Australia’s debut at Sandown as flaggie will be a frontrunner in his AWC MPC Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR.
The surprise of this season has been privateer Zac Soutar in the Spicers Australia sponsored Honda Civic Type R TCR as he played the perfect tail gunner to D’Alberto in Queensland and elevated himself to fourth in the standings.
Rounding out the top five in the title is HMO Customer Racing’s Josh Buchan in the lead Hyundai i30 N TCR and he can’t be discounted, despite a 85-point gap to D’Alberto. The South Korean brand is expected to be competitive at the venue situated in the Melbourne metropolitan area.
Will Brown sealed the inaugural Supercheap Auto TCR Australia title at Sandown three years ago in a HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR, but the long straights will suit his MPC Team LIQUI MOLY Audi RS3 LMS TCR and the opportunity is there to enter title calculations.
A disastrous round at Queensland Raceway dropped Schaeffler GRM Peugeot driver Dylan O’Keeffe from third to seventh in the standings, but at his home circuit he will be aiming to achieve his first round of the season to put his title aspirations back on track.
Stablemate Aaron Cameron will be targeting this too in his Team Valvoline GRM Peugeot, while rookie revelation Bailey Sweeny debuted at Sandown last month (in a Toyota 86 race car) and will rely on this experience to consolidate his top 10 position in the title for HMO Customer Racing.
Sweeny’s team-mate Nathan Morcom completes the first 10 and is another building stronger form following victory at Sydney Motorsport Park during Round 4.
Not to be discounted, Burson Auto Parts Racing’s Ben Bargwanna endured a difficult event at Queensland Raceway and will be hoping to return to the front in his Peugeot.
The biggest heartbreak up north was reserved for Michael Caruso after a mechanical malady dropped his Autoglym Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR out of a winning position. A rejuvenated attack will resume the battle at Sandown.
A podium last time the series visited Sandown bodes well for LMCT+ Racing GRM’s James Moffat in the lead Renault Megane RS TCR, as constant improvement by teammate Kody Garland in the Valvoline Racing GRM example ensures these two will be ones to watch.
Missing the opening two rounds and a change of manufacturer hasn’t hampered Luke King after scoring podiums at the past couple of events marking him a driver to watch in the Moutai/ZIP Pay Hyundai, as will fellow privateer Lachlan Mineeff in the Forza Brakes Motorsport Audi.
Michael Clemente is another to enter the series late, but his Carl Cox Motorsport-supported Honda Civic Type R TCR has been a consistent top 10 runner, while Iain McDougall returns to familiar territory in the Challenge Motorsport Audi.
Supercheap Auto TCR Australia’s three races will be covered by Stan Sport’s live, uninterrupted and on-demand coverage.
The opening race will also be broadcast live on 9Gem/9Go! (check your local guides) as part of two hours of free-to-air coverage on Saturday at 3pm AEST.
To purchase tickets to the penultimate round of the SpeedSeries at Sandown featuring Supercheap Auto TCR Australia, Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia, Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters, Turtle Wax Trans Am, Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge and the Australian Production Car Series brought to you by LIQUI MOLY head to motorsporttickets.com.au.
You can sign up to a free 7-day trial with Stan Sport. Head to http://www.stan.com.au/
Entry list, 2022 Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series Round 6 Sandown Raceway
|2||Moutai/ZIP PAY||Luke King||NSW||Hyundai i30 N TCR|
|8||Schaeffler GRM||Dylan O’Keeffe||VIC||Peugeot 308 TCR|
|9||AWC MPC Racing||Jay Hanson||VIC||Audi RS3 LMS TCR|
|10||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Michael Caruso||NSW||Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR|
|11||HMO Customer Racing||Nathan Morcom||NSW||Hyundai i30 N TCR|
|14||Forza Brakes Motorsport||Lachlan Mineeff||NSW||Audi RS3 LMS TCR|
|15||Michael Clemente Motorsport||Michael Clemente||VIC||Honda Civic Type R TCR|
|18||Team Valvoline GRM||Aaron Cameron||VIC||Peugeot 308 TCR|
|22||Challenge Motorsport/MPC||Iain McDougall||VIC||Audi RS3 LMS TCR|
|30||HMO Customer Racing||Josh Buchan||NSW||Hyundai i30 N TCR|
|33||Swyftx GRM||Jordan Cox||NSW||Peugeot 308 TCR|
|34||LMCT+ Racing GRM||James Moffat||VIC||Renault Megane RS TCR|
|41||Valvoline Racing GRM||Kody Garland||NSW||Renault Megane RS TCR|
|50||Honda Wall Racing||Tony D’Alberto||VIC||Honda Civic Type R TCR|
|71||Burson Auto Parts Racing||Ben Bargwanna||VIC||Peugeot 308 TCR|
|110||Team Soutar Motorsport||Zac Soutar||VIC||Honda Civic Type R TCR|
|130||HMO Customer Racing||Bailey Sweeny||NSW||Hyundai i30 N TCR|
|999||MPC Team LIQUI MOLY||Will Brown||QLD||Audi RS3 LMS TCR|