Photo: TCR Australia

Tony D’Alberto tops opening Phillip Island practice sessions

Honda driver Tony D’Alberto topped both of the opening TCR Australia free practice sessions at Phillip Island.

The first session saw the reigning champion heading Audi driver Zac Soutar by just 0.0395 seconds.

Hyundai driver Bailey Sweeney was third fastest, just over two tenths from the fastest time, while former BTCC driver Tom Oliphant put the Ashley Seward Racing-prepared Lynk & Co 03 TCR in fourth place, 0.6511 seconds from P1.

HMO Customer Racing driver Josh Buchan rounded off the top five behind the wheel of his Hyundai Elantra N TCR.

The second session saw D’Alberto lowering his best time further to 1:37.3361, beating Sweeney this time by 0.0539 seconds.

Lachlan Mineeff climbed to third, just below half a second from the top time while Buchan and Oliphant rounded off the top five.

Michael Clemebte, who debuts the Cupra León Competición this weekend in TCR Australia, was sixth fastest, 0.8631 seconds from the top.

A total of 12 cars took part in the two sessions, while Will Brown was forced to sit out both sessions due to electrical issues with his Audi.

Qualifying starts at 11:35 local time/03:35 CEST on Saturday.