Almond doubles up in TCR Australia practice

Michael Almond topped Practice 2 pic: TCR Australia/Daniel Kalisz

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

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