Ben Bargwanna praises team following maiden TCR success
Some 48 hours prior to his maiden Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series victory, Ben Bargwanna was left rueing a mistake resulting in major damage to his Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot 308 TCR, however this was all forgotten after Sunday’s Race 2.
Bargwanna won in dramatic fashion after both he and Garry Rogers Motorsport teammate Jordan Cox left the road at the penultimate corner, with the second-generation racer jumping his Peugeot through the gravel trap to victory.
“It’s pretty surreal,” reflected Bargwanna.
“When I first worked for GRM in 2019, I was watching everyone win and seeing how the series was growing, I knew I wanted to take victory in this category. Last year I got the chance to race it and dad scored a win at Phillip Island, which lit a fire in me.
“I’d been chasing a win ever since and I scored my first victory at Sandown, which I’m pretty over the moon about.”
Although the home track for GRM, Peugeot was making its debut at Sandown as the team held measured expectations for its quartet 308 TCR, while an early setback in opening practice when Bargwanna hit the fence approaching Turn 9 put him on the backfoot.
“Coming into Sandown we were a bit unsure of what the weekend would bring,” Bargwanna revealed.
“Obviously the Peugeot hadn’t been there before and we came off a pretty ordinary weekend at Queensland Raceway, so there was plenty of work to be done.
“It was great to get a result like that for the team, especially after that Friday crash with the heavy damage and we turned it around massively for the crew.
“I was pretty happy to get a result for the boys after the work they put in and it was good to set-up at Bathurst as well.”
Heading to the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International in good form bodes well considering the Peugeot’s pace at the Mountain during Easter was blistering as Bargwanna targets a top five finish in the standings.
“We know Bathurst is a strong track for us, so we need to maximise it, but it won’t come easy,” Bargwanna explained.
“As a team, we’ve been working really hard to get these Peugeots in the right window and I think we’ll get a good result at Bathurst, but we have to wait to see how that weekend pans out.
“I think we’re the best team to get the result.”
Bargwanna’s season has typified how close the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series has been in 2023 after returning to the top 10 following his Sandown success.
“This year has been crazy,” described Bargwanna. “I went into Sydney Motorsport Park fourth in the standings and I left it outside the top 10, I then went further down after Queensland Raceway.
“I’m back in the 10 now after Sandown. it just changes and the points are crazy close at the moment, so any result can make the biggest difference.”
The season finale will be held at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International on November 11-13.