1 June 2024 |

D’Alberto Nails Third Consecutive Astrontech Pole Award

Tony D’Alberto will start the opening Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series race at The Bend from pole position, while points leader Ben Bargwanna will battle his way through from the fourth row.

Full results available here.

Clear skies greeted the field for the two-part qualifying session, albeit with parts of the circuit still damp in patches from Friday’s rain.

D’Alberto, Zac Soutar, Aaron Cameron, Clay Richards, Josh Buchan and Jordan Cox were the top six drivers at the end of Q1, progressing to the pole-setting Q2 shootout.

The 2022 series champion took himself out of the pack in the early stages of the final 10-minute Q2 session, trundling through pitlane to move into clear air.

The ploy worked; although his rivals were able to turn an extra lap, none were able to match the Honda driver’s pace with a clear road in front of him.

Both HMO Customer Racing entries began the session facing five-place grid penalties for pre-event car swaps.

Reigning champion Buchan was able to limit the damage by getting closest to D’Alberto, his second-fastest time translating to seventh on the grid for Race 1.

That elevates Cox to the front row, with Soutar and Richards comprising the second row.

Cameron pitted with a couple of minutes remaining to settle for what becomes fifth on the grid for Race 1.

Joining him will be Phillip Island round winner Brad Harris, despite the Honda pilot ending the Q1 session in eighth.

Hyundai’s Tom Oliphant was the unlucky driver in seventh at the end of the opening 10-minute, all-in session, his five-place penalty consigning him to a 12th-place start for the Race 1.

All that shuffling elevates points leader Bargwanna to eighth on the grid, after ending Q1 down in 10th.

The opening TCR race gets underway at 2:45pm local time.