Photo: TCR Australia

Teams hit the track for Winton test

The first drivers confirmed for the new TCR Australia series have hit the track after a day of testing at Winton Raceway.

A dozen cars appeared during the un-timed test, which comes ahead of the season opener in Sydney later this month.

For many teams, it was the first time that they had the chance to put their new TCR cars to test, with Australian rally star Molly Taylor amongst those in action in her Kelly Racing-run Subaru.

“It was a big first day for me here at Winton,” she said. There was a lot to take in and so much to learn but I really enjoyed the day with Kelly Racing and I know what I need to work on heading to Round 1 in Sydney.

“I have had a taste of the Subaru TCR car previously in Europe, but the conditions here are very different and today I had an engineer and data to work with so that part of it was new to me and that’s where I have a lot to learn.

“I’m used to having someone else in the car talking to me so I was all alone in the car, and adjusting to tarmac from gravel was a huge learning experience as it requires the driver to be very precise, so those were the key differences for me.

“On top of that, throw in 15 other cars on track trying to beat each other rather than just me against the clock, so that’s something to look forward to when the series gets underway.”

The Hyundai HMO Customer Racing team took one car to the test, allowing young gun Will Brown his first laps in the i30 N TCR, while Jason Bright enjoyed a productive day in his ex-Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTI – turning laps in both cars acquired in recent months.

I’ve driven a lot of different cars in my career, from GT cars to Le Mans Prototypes, Sports Cars and Open Wheelers, and the TCR is a lot of fun to drive,” he said.

“I expect the racing is going to be awesome because the cars move and bounce around so much and it’s going to create plenty of excitement for the fans.

“It’s a new category in Australia, the cars are still very fresh and teams haven’t had the chance to do any testing yet so it’s a very level playing field in that regard and I think that’s a good thing.

“The cars are running well have run really well here and we can’t wait to get to Sydney.”

The only confirmed cars that were not at Winton were the Garry Rogers Motorsport-prepared Renault Meganes and one of Kelly Racing’s Opel Astras, which are due to arrive in Australia this week.