A maximum attack paid off for Lee Holdsworth when he edged out Chaz Mostert on the first day of TCR Australia racing at Mount Panorama.
The two Supercars stars used their experience at Bathurst to get the most from their TCR turbo tiddlers on a day when Garth Tander and Tony D’Alberto also cracked the Top 10 times.
Jordan Cox was the pace-setter in the cool morning practice session with his Alfa but it was Holdsworth who set the benchmark in the second practice session in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta before Mostert hit back in his Alfa Romeo RS3
But the final lap for Holdsworth was the money run and he stopped the clocks at 2:15:8092.
Mostert was the only other driver in the 2:15 bracket, as Dylan O’Keefe ran third in a Renault Megane and Jordan Cox was next in another of the Alfas.
“I was a bit committed,” Holdsworth told Race News.
“We made some adjustments to the car after Practice 1 and I had a lot more confidence to push.”
Mostert was unhappy, not with himself or his car, but with some of his TCR opponents.
“I got blocked on my best lap. It got better and better, but then I had a problem again on the last lap,” he told Race News.
“The tyres were gone anyway. It was really moving around. I was happier in the first session.”
Surprisingly, there were no crashes or incidents despite the biggest field in the history of TCR Australia racing, with 22 cars at Bathurst.
There was a solid mix of cars in the leading group although the Honda Type Rs, which ran fourth and fifth with John Martin and Tony D’Alberto in the morning, slipped back in the pack and the best of the Hyundai i30 Ns was only 11th in the hands of Brad Shiels.
The HMO Customer Racing team was deeply into data analysis to find and fix a lack of speed for the Hyundais of Josh Buchan and Nathan Morcom, which were only 13th and 14th.
Garth Tander was disappointed to only have the sixth-fastest time in his Audi RS3, but was not making any excuses.
“It will be alright. I just wasn’t driving it properly,” Tander said.
Looking ahead to early-morning qualifying and the first TCR race on Saturday, both Holdsworth and Mostert are predicting tricky conditions with an overnight temperature below 10 degrees.
“It’s going to be a different track. It will be tricky to get some temperature into the tyres,” said Holdsworth.
“Everything will be completely different. But I’m enjoying the challenge of driving something different. This is completely opposite, in every way, from driving a Supercar here.”
Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series
|1||Lee Holdsworth||Alfa Romeo|
|2||Chaz Mostert||Audi RS3|
|3||Dylan O’Keefe||Renault Megane|
|4||Aaron Cameron||Peugeot 308|
|5||Jordan Cox||Alfa Romeo|
|6||Garth Tander||Audi RS3|
|7||Jay Hanson||Alfa Romeo|
|8||John Martin||Honda Type R|
|9||Zac Soutar||Honda Type R|
|10||Tony D’Alberto||Honda Type R|