More to squeeze out of privateer Honda package
Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series race winner Zac Soutar is confident there is more to squeeze from his Honda Civic Type R TCR package ahead of a return to Sydney Motorsport Park.
Much of the gains he revealed are to be made by learning the new compound supplied by control tyre supplier Michelin, which was introduced at Phillip Island and has since been received praise from drivers for its ability to switch on quickly.
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However, Soutar and his small family-based team have needed to adapt to the new Michelins.
“We’re still trying to get our heads around the new tyre still, I was pretty happy with the old tyres and how they drove,” he said.
“We’ll look at the data and there’s always more we can squeeze out of it, so I’m sure we can figure it out as we also hope to do a test before the next round in Sydney.
“I think the car has good speed, we know what we need to work on and we’ve learnt a fair bit, so I think we’ll be alright for the next one.”
Soutar also highlighted the importance of qualifying after failing to break into the top 10 during the Bathurst weekend, the first time it has occurred during an event all season.
“It’s all about qualifying,” Soutar emphasised.
“I think we had the pace to be in the top 10, but it obviously didn’t come together.
“Unfortunately, in qualifying we just got baulked a couple of times and on my flying lap there was a yellow flag going into The Dipper where [Michael] Caruso had crashed, so that wrecked my lap.
“The Hondas aren’t quite the easiest car to pass around here, we don’t have the grunt of the Peugeots and Alfas, so it was a tough weekend.”
Enter Sydney Motorsport Park, another new innovation will be introduced as Supercheap Auto TCR Australia makes its maiden appearance at night on the Saturday adding to the spectacle of the series and one Soutar is excited for.
“Night racing should be awesome, everything feels faster,” he explained.
“I’m really looking forward to that. Sydney Motorsport Park has very good lighting and it’s also close to the city, so hopefully we can put on a good show in front a big crowd.
“I think it will be a great event.”
The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series headlines the third round of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships where fellow Australian Racing Group categories the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship, Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters and Turtle Wax Trans Am Series feature at Sydney Motorsport Park on May 27-29.
Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge, the Australian Production Car Series, Radical Cup and the Australian Prototype Series complete a stacked program of categories.
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All the action can be viewed live and uninterrupted on Stan Sport, while a highlights package will be broadcast after the event on 9Gem (times to be advised).