Dylan O’Keeffe on top in TCR Australia test at Phillip Island
Dylan O’Keeffe has started his 2021 TCR Australia racing series campaign in fine form after setting the fastest time of the day in the pre-season test, held at Victoria’s Phillip Island.
Heading a strong result for Garry Rogers Motorsport which saw team-mates Ben Bargwanna, son of 2000 Bathurst winner Jason, and Aaron Cameron end the day in second and third respectively, O’Keeffe was just 0.0102 of a second faster than his rookie team-mate.
O’Keeffe’s strong form in the Renault Megane RS TCR comes off the back of a wildcard entry in WTCR last year, his new knowledge of the car and working with the GRM squad paying off already.
“It’s extremely positive,” said O’Keeffe.
“I honestly didn’t expect that compared to how we were travelling throughout the day but I think it’s a big tyre game here and we know throughout the day some people put on some good tyres and so did we at the end, there’s no denying that.
“I think the car did a reasonably good job, I wouldn’t expect Phillip Island to be one of [our] stronger tracks and it was, so yeah, pretty happy with that.”
GRM’s domination of the day went past the second and third placed Peugeot 308’s of Bargwanna and Cameron with the team completing the top six spots with James Moffat, Jordan Cox and Jason Bargwanna sweeping the first six spots.
Seventh placed Nathan Morcom broke the mould for HMO Customer Racing albeit nearly half a second down on O’Keeffe in his Hyundai i30 N TCR while series debutant Chaz Mostert put his Melbourne Performance Centre prepared Audi RS 3 LMS between the Honda Civic Type R FK8 TCR entries of Wall Racing’s John Martin and Tony D’Alberto.
Heading in to the season opening round at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains, O’Keeffe is confident that he can perform with his experienced team-mates at a track he’s never visited before.
“I think Symmons should suit us,” said O’Keeffe.
“I’ve never raced there but ‘Moff’ has and the engineers have been there before so I’m expecting big things.
“Hopefully we can be up there. A top five result would be pretty good for us.”
Round one begins on the 24th of January, running through to the 26th on the Australia Day public holiday.