A taller and fatter Audi RS3 is going to make life tougher for Chaz Mostert as he looks to extend his winning run in the SuperCheap Auto TCR Australia Series.
Mostert’s German hatchback has been the car to beat in this year’s turbo tiddler class, even if Mostert has often made the winning difference in the series, but that could be able to change.
A big adjustment to the Balance of Performance settings for the TCR cars has hit the Audi hardest, while also giving a bigger chance to its rivals from Honda, Renault and Peugeot.
The BoP is a global ranking of weights, turbo boost and ride heights and the TCR Australia series also hits its winners with ’success ballast’.
Recent racing outside Australia has led to BoP adjustments and Mostert’s Audi is now 10 kilograms heavier than before, and has been raised 10 millimetres in ride height.
“Naturally it feels worse,” Mostert tells Race News after the first practice session at Sydney Motorsport Park.
He was only 10th quickest, as James Moffat went quickest despite running his ‘old’ Renault Megane, ahead of Lee Holdsworth in an Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
“It feels good to be in front. It’s better than we have usually been,” Moffat joked.
But there is no joking from Mostert, who is working hard to maintain his advantage with the help of his guru race engineer Adam Debore.
“We can’t make one-lap speed. So we have to concentrate on long runs,” says Mostert.
Things have also changed at SMP with resurfacing from Turn 2 to Turn 5, giving a vastly different grip and wear level to the rest of the circuit.
“This place is like a cheese grater. We have more grip on the new surface, but you have to be careful in how you use it. It’s tough when you’re trying to accelerate.”
Mostert also knows his car is effectively 80 kilograms heavier than some of his rivals, thanks to the 60 kilos of extra weight he has been slugged by TCR Australia after his string of wins since the start of the season.
In contact, the Honda Type R, Renault Megane RS and Peugeot 308 TRC have all been given a 10-kilo break under the BoP changes, while the Hyundai i30 N is unchanged.