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Whitley joins Bright in new MSR prepared TCR outfit

Tom Howard

Sunday 12th May, 2019 - 6:00am

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Alexandra Whitley will pilot a Volkswagen Golf for the new TCR Australia outfit Alliance Autosport pic: TCR Australia/Daniel Kalisz

Alexandra Whitley will join Jason Bright to form the all-new Alliance Autosport Volkswagen TCR Australia team run by Supercars squad Matt Stone Racing.

The New Zealand-based Australian will pilot a second ex-Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR machine acquired by former Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner Bright.

Whitley becomes the 13th driver confirmed to race the TCR Australia opener at Sydney Motorsport Park and the second female following the announcement of 2016 Australian Rally Champion Molly Taylor, who will drive for Kelly Racing.

Bright will lead the driving duties for the team in his Taskforce-supported VW, and has struck a deal with MSR in a new preparation and logistics arrangement to form what will be known as Alliance Autosport.

MSR currently operates a single car effort in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship alongside entries in Super2, Super3, and part-time in Touring Car Masters.

Whitley has spent the majority of her career competing in New Zealand and last year became the first woman to win a V8 Utes race at Pukekohe.

The Toowoomba born driver was also in contention to secure a spot on the new W Series grid having progressed to the final 28 drivers before missing out on final selection.

Alexandra Whitley

“I have never been to Sydney Motorsport Park before, and I’ve never driven a front wheel drive car before, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge of racing in the TCR Australia Series,” said Whitley.

“TCR is going to be very competitive with some well known drivers. If I can rub doors with some of them, I’ll know that I’m doing well.

“This is an opportunity that I have been working towards and I’m very grateful to Matt Stone and Jason Bright for helping to make it happen.

“Both Matt and Jason have years and years of experience. They really know what they are doing and I’m just looking forward to learning from their knowledge, soaking it up and doing my best.”

Bright has welcomed the support of MSR in bringing the new Volkswagen TCR Australia project to life.

“It’s great to have Matt Stone and his team come for the TCR ride with us this year,” said Bright.

“The team is very professional and they know exactly what it takes to takes to prepare race cars at the highest level.

“Knowing that my race car is in safe hands, I really can’t wait for the series to kick off. There’s a lot of hype and I know there’s going to be a lot of interested on lookers at Sydney Motorsport Park.”

Meanwhile, MSR owner Matt Stone is looking forward to adding TCR Australia to its portfolio.

“This is a great category for Australia and is a great value-add to the racing landscape. The cars are really user-friendly and they are going to have some really good racing,” said Stone.

“Alexandra has proven that she is a very capable driver and has a vast amount of experience. We’re really looking forward to working with her.

“Jason needs no introduction to Australian motorsport. We know he is going to be a front-runner from the word go and, importantly, he is going to help us get the most out of Alexandra as she gets up to speed in these cars.”

The seven round TCR Australia Series begins at Sydney Motorsport Park from May 17-19, with all races broadcast live on SBS and via the series’ live streaming service.

Entry list: Round 1, Sydney Motorsport Park

Team Make Driver
Melbourne Performance Centre Audi Rik Breukers
Melbourne Performance Centre Volkswagen TBA
Wall Racing Honda Tony D’Alberto
Wall Racing Honda John Martin
HMO Customer Racing Hyundai Nathan Morcom
HMO Customer Racing Hyundai Will Brown
Alliance Autosport Volkswagen Jason Bright
Alliance Autosport Volkswagen Alexandra Whitley
Garth Walden Racing Australia Hyundai TBA
Garth Walden Racing Australia Hyundai TBA
Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Dylan O’Keeffe
Garry Rogers Motorsport Alfa Romeo Jimmy Vernon
Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault Chris Pither
Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault James Moffat
Kelly Racing Subaru Molly Taylor
Kelly Racing Subaru TBA
Kelly Racing Opel Alex Rullo
Kelly Racing Opel TBA

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