The top five TCR drivers of 2023 – so far
IT’S HARD to look beyond the championship order when it comes to settling the order of the top five ‘best’ Supercheap Auto TCR Australia drivers this year, but delve a little deeper and you quickly come up with some standouts.
For instance, it seems wrong to run a ‘Top 5’ list without Jordan Cox in it, and yet that’s what we’ve got here. He’s had a strong season, but some other performers just stood out a little larger in our panel’s eyes at this part of the season. The same could be said for Aaron Cameron, or indeed defending champion Tony D’Alberto. But it’s a top five list, and not everyone can make it..
So here’s five worthy drivers all of whom have helped make this year’s TCR title tilt a very enjoyable one to watch so far.
5. Tom Oliphant
THE debut of the new Lynk & Co was challenging but when back in the old Alfa, Tom has been a superb addition to the TCR grid this year.
He’s quick, races hard and has dragged the car higher than perhaps it deserves to be, which is a huge achievement. Added the International touch to the championship this year and it’s all the better for it.
4. Lachlan Mineeff
MISTER consistency this year, Lachlan has been one of the best under-the-radar performers so far this year, but he hasn’t gone unnoticed by us.
Dragging the previous-gen Audi RS3 TCR well up the order, Mineeff has accumulated points with consistency and strong race craft that has him very much in the title mix mid-way through the year.
3. Michael Clemente
THE Victorian has been a standout of the year so far, especially since jumping aboard his Cupra at Phillip Island.
Car and driver bonded immediately and all of a sudden Mick went from being a top-10 runner to a regular win contender. That he backed up Phillip Island with more success at Winton makes it even more impressive, and his willingness to get the elbows out makes him box-office viewing.
2. Josh Buchan
WITH Tasmania’s mysterious lack of form a seemingly annoying blip on the radar, Buchan and HMO’s new sedan-based TCR weapon have been irresistible since then. Sure, Phillip Island was good but the way he maximised Winton – climbing from fourth to third to second in the three races – shows why he is absolutely a title contender this year.
1. Bailey Sweeny
IT’S hard to say if Bailey is a surprise packet this year or not, because the potential has clearly always been there.
For whatever reason, it’s sure gelled this year and the New South Welshman has strung together three very impressive rounds in the hatchback Hyundai.
Yet to quite match the highs of Tasmania’s two wins, however he scored so well there that his accumulation since has made him a worthy title leader. Long way to go, but he’s showing all the consistency and pace of a title winner so far.