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|