Lachlan Mineeff’s podium breakthrough highlights strong opening round
It may have been a late deal to ensure regular privateer Lachlan Mineeff was on the grid for the opening round at AWC Race Tasmania, but he made the most of it by scoring a maiden podium at Symmons Plains.
Joining Melbourne Performance Centre for the event in the LIQUI MOLY Audi RS3 LMS TCR Gen1 driven to second in last year’s title by Will Brown, Mineeff placed inside the top 10 for most of the weekend.
Due to the retirement of Will Brown due to driveshaft problems, Mineeff flew the LIQUI MOLY flag all weekend and was duly rewarded with second in Race 2 after a close battle with Valvoline Team GRM’s Aaron Cameron for the lead.
Eighth in the first race and seventh in the final ensured Mineeff’s provide good momentum to carry to Phillip Island where he will re-join the Purple Sector/Forza Brakes Motorsport team in his regular Audi.
“We struggled for a bit of pace at the start of the weekend, but we made some smart decisions in the races which enabled us to come away with a healthy points haul,” Mineeff said.
“In Race 1, it was important to finish inside the top 10 to take advantage of the inversion, which we were able to do, and once we had clean air in Race 2, our speed was strong.
“I had a good battle with Aaron (Cameron) – we swapped places a couple of times and showed a lot of respect for each other. Finishing second in that race was clearly the highlight of the weekend.
“In Race 3, I was in a close pack of cars which made it hard to overtake, because the heat coming from the other cars caused the engine and brakes to become very warm, so I just focused on bringing it home for a solid finish.”
The added bonus of joining Melbourne Performance Centre for Mineeff was the ability to learn from a team experienced in getting the best out of the Audi product.
“MPC is a professional, well-resourced outfit, so I learned a lot by working with their crew,” he said.
“It was a shame Will Brown in the other MPC car had such a tough weekend, but I ended up flying the flag for LIQUI MOLY, which was satisfying.”
Mineeff is looking forward to returning to his Purple Sector team for upcoming TCR rounds, which he expects to play to the Audi’s strengths.
“The next two TCR rounds are at Phillip Island and Sydney Motorsport Park – they’re very aero-dependent circuits which will suit the Audi.”
Mineeff sits sixth in the standings heading to Round 2 at Phillip Island as part of the Shannons SpeedSeries on May 12-14.