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D’Alberto Honda takes out maiden TCR Aus pole

Tom Howard

Saturday 18th May, 2019 - 11:58am

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Tony D’Alberto scored the first TCR Australia pole position

Tony D’Alberto has secured the first ever pole position in TCR Australia after a last gasp effort in qualifying at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The Wall Racing Honda Civic driver saved his best until the dying moments, posting a 1:34.14s to secure the history making pole in a truncated 30 minute qualifying session.

“We had to put another set of tyres at the end there,” said D’Alberto. 

“We just didn’t maximise it at the start, we had a couple of little problems with the car which hurt our run early on, so I needed to have another go at the end.”

D’Alberto pipped Jason Bright (Alliance Autosport Volkswagen) by a tenth when the session resumed after an off track excursion from James Moffat (Renault) caused a red flag with four minutes remaining. 

Bright eclipsed a time from Alfa Romeo driver Dylan O’Keeffe to surge to the top of the times seconds before officials put out the red flag. 

D’Alberto was the only driver to make a serious improvement when the session resumed, which left Bright to settle for second on the grid, with O’Keeffe sharing the second row with early pacesetter Will Brown. 

Brown had set the first indicative time in the HMO Customer Racing Hyundai with a 1:35,5s effort which arrived having sat out of Friday’s Practice 2 with a throttle issue.

He became locked in a battle with yesterday’s pacesetter Michael Almond, who popped back to the top before Brown eclipsed the time moments later with a 1:34.63s.

That time stood until the halfway mark.

However, as the session progressed Almond was unable to find any more time and was left in fifth spot.

HMO Customer Racing’s Nathan Morcom will start sixth in the sister HMO Customer Racing Hyundai ahead of Rik Breukers (Audi), and Andre Heimgartner (Subaru) in the top Kelly Racing entry.

The top 10 was completed by Jimmy Vernon (Alfa Romeo) while Moffat dropped from 10th to 12th, having lost his best time for causing the red flag. 

Reigning Super2 series winner Chris Pither (Renault) could only manage 13th spot ahead of Alex Rullo (Holden/Opel), while the 17 car grid was rounded out by Chelsea Angelo (Holden/Opel), Molly Taylor (Subaru) and Alexandra Whitley (Volkswagen).    

The history making first TCR Australia race is scheduled for 1415 AEST. 

Results TCR Australia Qualifying, Sydney Motorsport Park

1   50  Wall Racing                    Tony D’Alberto (VIC)   Honda Civic Type R   1:34.1437
2    8  Taskforce / Alliance Autosport Jason Bright (VIC)     Volkswagen Golf GTI  1:34.2948 0:00.1511
3    9  Ashley Seward Motorsport       Dylan O’Keeffe (VIC)   Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1:34.4014 0:00.2577
4   30  HMO Customer Racing            Will Brown (QLD)       Hyundai I30N         1:34.6301 0:00.4864
5   29  Astron Tech / Garth Walden Racing Michael Almond (SA)    Hyundai I30N         1:34.7151 0:00.5714
6   24  Wall Racing                    John Martin (NSW)      Honda Civic Type R   1:34.7249 0:00.5812
7   11  HMO Customer Racing            Nathan Morcom (NSW)    Hyundai I30N         1:34.7488 0:00.6051
8   22  TCR SPA 500 / Melbourne Performance Rik Breukers (NED)     Audi RS 3            1:34.8571 0:00.7134
9  777  Kelly Racing                   Andre Heimgartner (NZ) Subaru WRX STI       1:35.0107 0:00.8670
10   7  Garry Rogers Motorsport        Jimmy Vernon (NSW)     Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1:35.3176 0:01.1739
11   2  Melbourne Performance          Aaron Cameron (VIC)    Volkswagen Golf GTI  1:35.4349 0:01.2912
12  34  Garry Rogers Motorsport        James Moffat (VIC)     Renault Magane RS    1:35.9180 0:01.7743
13  33  Garry Rogers Motorsport        Chris Pither (NZ)      Renault Magane RS    1:35.9849 0:01.8412
14  62  Kelly Racing                   Alex Rullo (WA)        Holden Astra         1:36.0682 0:01.9245
15  37  Kelly Racing                   Chelsea Angelo (VIC)   Holden Astra         1:37.3596 0:03.2159
16   6  Kelly Racing                   Molly Taylor (NSW)     Subaru WRX STI       1:37.4570 0:03.3133
17  35  Alliance Autosport             Alexandra Whitley (QLD) Volkswagen Golf GTI   1:37.7959  0:03.6522

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