9 December 2023 |

Buchan Reflects on Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Championship

Josh Buchan is the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Champion, and the 28-year old-Sydneysider has had a month to reflect on his first national motorsport title.

Aboard the Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR, Buchan soared to the TCR Australia title with eight podiums and a pair of wins in his third season with HMO Customer Racing.

“The feeling of the title has sunk in a bit now, I’ve been introduced as the champion a few times,” said Buchan.

“A few posters have been made and the number one is on the car. We had the N Festival last week and there was a bit of a song and dance about it there, which was a cool experience.

“The gravity of the achievement, it means the same now as it did when I crossed the line at Bathurst. I’m more wrapped for the team who’ve worked on it for the last few years. It’s easily forgotten who’s involved, and I want to ensure the people who put in the hours and the effort get the recognition they deserve. I certainly didn’t do it on my own.”

Swooped on by the HMO team in 2020, following an impressive test day, Buchan’s journey to the top came as a late starter to the motorsport scene. It wasn’t until the age of 16 that Buchan first went karting, and 22 when he made his first appearance in car racing.

“My journey was certainly a little different to convention. I was quite late on to the karting scene, and from there the path was all just a series of strange opportunities. Even in Formula Ford, I didn’t think it would be anything, I was wrapped to get a test day let alone the state title and winning at Bathurst.

“From there it was off to F3. I met the late Errol Gilmour at a friend’s wedding, I gave him my number, we did a test and away we went. I didn’t realise how tough on the body it was going to be, I couldn’t hold the steering wheel or hold my neck upright for the first half of the year. Once that was sorted we were good to go.

“At the end of 2020 I did a test with HMO, there was about five of us there and the others from that day have all found success. I was fortunate enough to get the seat, and I already had a great relationship with Hyundai from all the driving work I’d done. It’s very strange how it all fell into place.”

It was a close fought battle for the championship across the season, one where Buchan found himself on top on just two occasions, reclaiming the lead with just one race to go in the season. The closest challenge came from the other side of the HMO stable, in young gun Bailey Sweeny.

“The relationship between us was great all season, we were very cool and we still are. It helped that we were in different cars, which didn’t share many similarities. I transitioned to the newer model this year, and as it turned out we had a lot of learning to do throughout the season.

“Whatever Bailey’s future holds, it’s very bright, he’s a great talent.”

Buchan hinted at a manufacturer wildcard from Hyundai as a potential avenue to the TCR World Final in March, and reconfirmed that he will take the number one for 2024.

“Qualifying for the World Final is no issue, we just need to see if it’s viable or not. It’s a Hyundai decision, but if we can make it work it’d be an amazing opportunity.

“Everyone’s eager to run the number one on the car next year. Tony (D’Alberto) and I are good friends, and he took the number one sticker out of his truck at Bathurst, handed it to me, and I put it on the car. That was really cool, and a lovely gesture from TD

“We’re well on our way towards the plans for next year, so hopefully that’s not to far away,” concluded Buchan.