2 June 2024 |

Soutar Talks Through his Race One Stall

For the second time in as many Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series rounds, a clutch drama has brought Zac Soutar undone.

Clutch failure at the end of Race 2 at Phillip Island prompted a rapid change in order to take part in Race 3.

This time, the problem occurred at the other end of the race.

When the red lights went out to start Race 1 at The Bend, the #110 Tufflift Racing Audi remained stationary in fourth place on the grid.

“It’s a new clutch from Phillip Island, which is what failed there,” Soutar explained during the broadcast.

“I did a practice start (and) came back around to do the start and there was no clutch again.

“Obviously I need to look at the way I’m using the clutch at the moment, whether I’m getting a little bit too much of the bite-point for too long because it just completely failed.

“I literally had it in neutral, revved it as hard as I could, dropped it into first and she went.”

By that point, though, the rest of the field was at the other end of The Bend’s long front straight.

Rubbing more salt into the wound is that Soutar soon displayed that he was likely fast enough to have challenged for the podium.

He set the fastest lap of the race amid an impressive recovery; he was up to 11th by lap 3 and was inside the top 10 a few laps later.

Ninth place was where his charge ended, though, trapped behind a stern defence from Clay Richards that netted the Carl Cox Motorsport driver a Bad Sportsmanship flag.

“Clay and I are good mates, but he was fighting like it was the last lap of the world championship – and there were 15 minutes to go in the race,” Soutar laughed.

“Credit to him though, I couldn’t get past him. I was pretty frustrated because it was quick enough to get by him, I think it was a lot quicker than his car.

“(It was) a little bit frustrating, but hey, he’s fighting for his points and I’m fighting for mine, so I understand it.

“Look, (I’m) happy to get points but I’m just devastated for the team. The car is so fast and I think we’d have been in contention for the podium there if we’d had a good start.

“The consolation is that we’re starting from second in the reverse grid race tomorrow, so we’ll come out swinging!”

Race 2 gets underway at Race Tailem Bend at 11:20am local time on Sunday, followed by the final race of the weekend at 3:50pm.