Bailey Sweeny fastest in opening Sandown session
HMO Customer Racing’s Bailey Sweeny has led the way following a shortened opening practice for the penultimate round of Supercheap Auto TCR Australia at Sandown.
It was Sweeny setting the pace on a 1m 14.762s in his Hyundai i30 N TCR to edge AWC MPC Racing’s Jay Hanson in his latest specification Audi RS3 LMS TCR by 0.127s.
Sweeny’s HMO Customer Racing teammate Josh Buchan finished the session third ahead of Aaron Cameron in the lead Garry Rogers Motorsport Peugeot 308 TCR for Valvoline.
Following heartbreak at Queensland Raceway, Michael Caruso enjoyed a great run to fifth in the Autoglym-supported Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR.
Privateer Lachlan Mineeff followed in his Forza Brakes Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR, to lead the similar LIQUI MOLY Team MPC entry of Will Brown and HMO Customer Racing’s Nathan Morcom.
Rounding out the top 10 were Moutai/ZIP PAY’s Luke King in his Hyundai and fellow privateer Zac Soutar in the Spicers Australia-supported Honda Civic Type R TCR.
Series leader Tony D’Alberto was in 11th driving the Honda Wall Racing Civic Type R ahead of title rival Jordan Cox’s GRM Swyftx Peugeot and the Valvoline Racing GRM Renault Megane RS TCR.
Ben Bargwanna’s Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot, the Honda of Michael Clemente, LMCT+ Racing GRM’s James Moffat in the second Renault, Challenge Motorsport driver Iain McDougall in his Audi and Dylan O’Keeffe completed the field in the Schaeffler GRM 308 TCR.
The session was shortened as Bargwanna hit the wall approaching Turn 9, with his Peugeot sustaining damage to the front end.
This ensured the session was halted with eight minutes still remaining while repairs were made to the guard rail.
Supercheap Auto TCR Australia is back on track at 2:40pm AEST for second and final practice session ahead of the two-part fight for Astrontech Pole Position tomorrow.
The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series will contest three races at Sandown as part of the SpeedSeries event also including the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS, Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters and the final round for the Turtle Wax Trans Am Series.
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