Almond doubles up in TCR Australia practice
Michael Almond remains the driver to beat after topping the second TCR Australia practice session at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The Garth Walden Racing Australia pilot lowered the benchmark he set to head the touring car category’s maiden session earlier this afternoon.
Almond and Wall Racing’s John Martin (Honda Civic Type R) traded places at the top of the timesheets early in the session before the former, driving a Hyundai i30, fired in a 1:34.63s.
The order changed late in the 30 minute session when Dylan O’Keeffe (Alfa Romeo) lapped within 0.15s of Almond’s effort, dropping Martin to third.
The red flags flew moments later when Kelly Racing’s Alex Rullo went off at Turn 1 with a rear wing issue, bringing an early end to the session with two minutes remaining.
Nathan Morcom put the #11 HMO Customer Racing Hyundai in fourth while his team-mate Will Brown failed to appear in the session due to a steering rack and throttle gremlin.
Tony D’Alberto was fifth in the second Wall Racing Honda Civic, a little more than two tenths behind Morcom.
Former Supercars full-timer Jason Bright finished sixth, ahead of Rik Breukers in the Melbourne Performance Centre Audi.
Andre Heimgartner (Subaru) was again the top Kelly Racing runner in eighth as James Moffat (Renault) and Rullo (Holden/Opel) completed the top 10.
Rally star Molly Taylor (Subaru), making her circuit racing debut, was a creditable 13th in front of Kelly Racing team-mate Chelsea Angelo (Holden/Opel) and Alliance Autosport’s Alexandra Whitley (Volkswagen).
The TCR Australia field will return to track on Saturday for qualifying (30 minutes) at 1055 AEST ahead of the series’ inaugural 30-minute race at 1415 AEST.
Results: TCR Australia Practice 2, Sydney Motorsport Park
|1||29 Astron Tech / Garth Walden Racing||Michael Almond (SA)||Hyundai I30N||1:34.6368*|
|2||9 Ashley Seward Motorsport||Dylan O’Keeffe (VIC)||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||1:34.7835||0:00.1467|
|3||24 Wall Racing||John Martin (NSW)||Honda Civic Type R||1:35.2636||0:00.6268|
|4||11 HMO Customer Racing||Nathan Morcom (NSW)||Hyundai I30N||1:35.5899||0:00.9531|
|5||50 Wall Racing||Tony D’Alberto (VIC)||Honda Civic Type R||1:35.7904||0:01.1536|
|6||8 Taskforce / Alliance Autosport||Jason Bright (VIC)||Volkswagen Golf GTI||1:35.9824||0:01.3456|
|7||22 TCR SPA 500 / Melbourne Performance||Rik Breukers (NED)||Audi RS 3||1:36.5489||0:01.9121|
|8||777 Kelly Racing||Andre Heimgartner (NZ)||Subaru WRX STI||1:36.7026||0:02.0658|
|9||34 Garry Rogers Motorsport||James Moffat (VIC)||Renault Magane RS||1:36.9320||0:02.2952|
|10||62 Kelly Racing||Alex Rullo (WA)||Holden Astra||1:37.9029||0:03.2661|
|11||7 Garry Rogers Motorsport||Jimmy Vernon (NSW)||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||1:38.2218||0:03.5850|
|12||33 Garry Rogers Motorsport||Chris Pither (NZ)||Renault Magane RS||1:38.3072||0:03.6704|
|13||6 Kelly Racing||Molly Taylor (NSW)||Subaru WRX STI||1:38.4894||0:03.8526|
|14||37 Kelly Racing||Chelsea Angelo (VIC)||Holden Astra||1:39.1812||0:04.5444|
|15||35 Alliance Autosport||Alexandra Whitley (QLD)||Volkswagen Golf GTI||1:39.1971||0:04.5603|
|16||2 Melbourne Performance||Aaron Cameron (VIC)||Volkswagen Golf GTI||1:39.2013||0:04.5645|