May 12, 2023 | General

D’Alberto, Honda the ones to beat in Phillip Island practice

Tony D’Alberto has continued Honda and Wall Racing’s brilliant form at Philip Island, topping both practice sessions for Round 2 of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series at Phillip Island.

The reigning series champion set a 1m 37.3361s in this afternoon’s second session, backing up his 1m 37.6178s lap that topped the first session earlier this afternoon.

A Wall Racing Honda in the hands of Fabian Coulthard won two of the three races at Phillip Island last year with the team picking up where they left off today.

Current points leader Bailey Sweeny enjoyed a strong opening day in his Hyundai i30N TCR, finishing third and second in the two sessions respectively, and looking likely to be the biggest threat to D’Alberto this weekend.

Standout performances from privateer Audi runners saw Zac Soutar second in practice one, and Lachlan Mineeff third in the afternoon session.

They were the highlight for the brand today, while it was the opposite end of the spectrum for another of their key contenders.

2019 TCR Australia champion Will Brown was an unlucky thirteenth today, his miserable start to the 2023 Supercheap Auto TCR season continuing with electrical dramas preventing the Audi RS3 LMS TCR from setting a time in the opening session.

Things only went from bad to worse for Brown in the second session, with the issues continuing despite the efforts from the LIQUI MOLY Audi Sport Customer Racing team.

The two new marques to TCR Australia both enjoyed productive days at Phillip Island, as drivers and teams alike came to grips with their new machinery.

Two-time British Touring Car Championship race winner Tom Oliphant was a fine fourth in the opening session, backing that up with fifth in the second session in Ashley Seward Motorsport’s new Lynk & Co 03 TCR.

Michael Clemente Motorsport also debuted their new Cupra Leon TCR, with the Victorian ending up seventh and sixth in the two sessions.

The Carl Cox Motorsport and Ryco-backed car was unveiled in pit lane earlier in the day and enjoyed two trouble-free sessions today.

The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series is next on track for Qualifying One at 11:35 am on Saturday, immediately followed by Qualifying Two at 11:55 am.

The series then launches into the fourth race of the season later in the afternoon.

Qualifying and the Saturday race will be broadcast live, ad-break free and on demand on Stan Sport, while the race will also be shown on 9Gem.

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