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Garth Tander tops TCR Australia Practice 1

Tom Howard

Friday 7th June, 2019 - 1:14pm

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Garth Tander

Garth Tander quickly adjusted to TCR machinery to top the times in the opening TCR Australia practice session at Phillip Island.

The outing was the 2007 Supercar champion’s first competitive session in a front wheel drive touring car following a brief shakedown of the brand new Melbourne Performance Centre Audi RS3 at the circuit yesterday.

It didn’t take long for Tander to hit the top of the timesheets posting a 1:39.14s in the early running which he quickly bettered, lowering the benchmark to a 1:37.22s. 

Driving one of two new Audi RS3s and armed with green tyres due to the car’s recent arrival in Australia, the Triple Eight Supercars co-driver would stay on top for the remainder of the 30 minute session.  

Alfa Romeo driver Dylan O’Keeffe came the closest to challenging Tander having posted a time within 0.16s of the session best with his final run. 

Wall Racing’s John Martin was third fastest in the #24 Honda Civic albeit 0.8s back from Tander.

Leanne Tander impressed on her TCR debut to end the session in fourth behind the wheel of the sister brand new MPC Audi, which was also equipped with fresh rubber. 

Kelly Racing’s Andre Heimgartner (Subaru) was fifth and within a second of the outright pace.

Tony D’Alberto (Wall Racing, Honda) ended up sixth ahead of Sydney Race 1 winner Jason Bright (Alliance Autosport, Volkswagen).

The top 10 was completed by Nathan Morcom (HMO Customer Racing, Hyundai), Aaron Cameron (Melbourne Performance Centre, Volkswagen) and James Moffat (Garry Rogers Motorsport, Renault)

Series leader Will Brown could only manage 14th fastest in the sister HMO Customer Racing Hyundai.

The Super2 driver was 5.1s shy of Garth Tander.

The session was halted after only three minutes on the clock when Alliance Autosport’s Alexandra Whitley stopped on track at Lukey Heights.

Whitley would rejoin the session and go on to finish 16th behind Kelly Racing’s Molly Taylor (Subaru) and ahead of Chris Pither (Garry Rogers Motorsport, Renault) and Chelsea Angelo (Kelly Racing, Opel/Holden).

The 18 car field will return to the circuit for Practice 2 at 1425 AEST.   

Results: TCR Australia Phillip Island Practice 1 

1    4  Melbourne Performance Centre   Garth Tander (Vic)      Audi RS 3            1:37.2220*
2    9  Ashley Seward Motorsport       Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)    Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1:37.3829  00.1609
3   24  Wall Racing                    John Martin (NSW)       Honda Civic Type R   1:38.0237  00.8017
4    3  Melbourne Performance Centre   Leanne Tander (Vic)     Audi RS 3            1:38.1629  00.9409
5  777  Kelly Racing                   Andre Heimgartner (NZ)  Subaru WRX STi       1:38.1871  00.9651
6   50  Wall Racing                    Tony D’Alberto (Vic)    Honda Civic Type R   1:38.3086  01.0866
7    8  Taskforce / Alliance Autosport Jason Bright (Vic)      Volkswagon Golf GTI  1:38.5737  01.3517
8   11  HMO Customer Racing            Nathan Morcom (NSW)     Hyundai i30N         1:38.7303  01.5083
9    2  Melbourne Performance Centre   Aaron Cameron (Vic)     Volkswagen Golf GTI  1:38.9795  01.7575
10  34  Garry Rogers Motorsport        James Moffat (Vic)      Renault Megane RS    1:39.3288  02.1068
11  62  Kelly Racing                   Alex Rullo (WA)         Holden Astra         1:39.6270  02.4050
12  22  Melbourne Performance Centre   Hamish Ribartis (Vic)   Audi RS 3            1:39.8784  02.6564
13   7  Garry Rogers Motorsport        Jimmy Vernon (NSW)      Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1:40.4120  03.1900
14  30  HMO Customer Racing            William Brown (Qld)     Hyundai i30N         1:42.4177  05.1957
15   6  Kelly Racing                   Molly Taylor (NSW)      Subaru WRX STi       1:42.8892  05.6672
16  35  Alliance Autosport             Alexandra Whitley (Qld) Volkswagon Golf GTI  1:44.4030  07.1810
17  33  Garry Rogers Motorsport        Chris Pither (NZ)       Renault Megane RS    1:45.2369  08.0149
18  37  Kelly Racing                   Chelsea Angelo (Vic)    Holden Astra         1:46.0994  08.8774

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