Brown Blitzes Queensland Practice
Will Brown has made a big statement on his return to the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, sweeping Friday practice at Queensland Raceway.
The inaugural TCR Australia champion, who missed the last round in Winton due to commitments in the USA, topped the first session of the day by four tenths of a second, setting a 1m 14.1578s.
Brown then upped the ante in this afternoon’s second session, setting a 1m 13.8106s to head championship leader Bailey Sweeny by over seven tenths of a second, putting the thirteen car field on notice.
Brown is mired down in fourteenth in the points standings and is out of championship contention, having struggled with mechanical woes all year in MPC Team LIQUI MOLY’s newer generation Audi RS3 LMS TCR, however he is more than capable of winning plenty of races.
Behind the Audi, there is shaping up to be several contenders fighting for podiums over the weekend’s three races.
Chief amongst those contenders is Brown’s fellow Supercars star Tim Slade, who is filling in for Tom Oliphant in the Autoglym / Ashley Seward Motorsport Lynk & Co, finishing second to Brown in the first session, and third behind Sweeny in the second session.
History suggests Sweeny is up against it this weekend, as Hyundai have never won at Queensland Raceway, however a fourth and a second suggests that although he may not have the outright pace of Brown, he will be a consistent presence at the front of the field once again.
Tony D’Alberto also had a solid day for Honda Wall Racing, winding up in fifth and fourth in the Honda Civic Type R, a package that won two of the three races last year at Queensland Raceway in a weekend that set up D’Alberto’s championship victory.
Zac Soutar is another driver who looks set to be in the hunt this weekend, claiming third and fifth across the two sessions in his Audi RS3 LMS TCR.
Several drivers had struggles in today’s running, with the most notable being Sweeny’s HMO Customer Racing teammate Josh Buchan, who entered the weekend second in points, eleventh and tenth in his Hyundai i30 Sedan N.
Michael Clemente’s Cupra Leon, a revelation at Phillip Island and Winton, could only muster twelfth in both session, whilst none of the four Garry Rogers Motorsport Peugeots could break into the top five across the day’s two sessions.
The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series returns to the track for qualifying beginning at 11:45am tomorrow, before the first of three races this weekend starts at 4:15pm.
All the action will be broadcast live, ad-break free, and on demand on Stan Sport, with Race One also being broadcast live on free-to-air television via 9Go.