D’Alberto fastest as Hondas shine in the wet

Tony D’Alberto

Wall Racing’s Tony D’Alberto set the pace in tricky wet conditions in final practice for TCR Australia Round 3 at The Bend Motorsport Park.

D’Alberto shot to the top of the times in the final five minutes as a dry line began to appear on a sodden track surface at the South Australian circuit.

The Hondas appeared most adept in the wet conditions with all three Wall Racing Civic Type Rs inside the top four during the 30 minute outing.

D’Alberto was the best having posted a 2:10.50s although he was almost edged by Jason Bright’s Volkswagen which lapped the 4.95km circuit 0.05s slower in the closing moments.

Bright’s late effort split the Hondas as John Martin ended up third ahead of debutant Jordan Cox, who topped opening practice also held in wet conditions. The pair were two tenths shy of the leading D’Alberto.

Plenty of standing water caught many drivers out in the early running with the Turn 6 left hander proving to be particularly hard for the drivers to pull the cars up.

However, the session ran without incident, although the field was reduced to 18 cars following the damage sustained to James Moffat’s Renault Megane after being hit by series leader Will Brown in Practice 1.

Dylan O’Keeffe (Ash Seward Motorsport – Alfa Romeo) ran strongly throughout to end up fifth ahead of Garth Tander in the #4 Melbourne Performance Centre Audi RS3.

The top 10 was completed by Kelly Racing’s Andre Heimgartner (Subaru), Jimmy Vernon (Garry Rogers Motorsport – Alfa Romeo), Nathan Morcom (HMO Customer racing – Hyundai) and Aaron Cameron (Melbourne Performance Centre – Volkswagen).

Russell Ingall (Audi) ended up in 11th spot in front of top female runner Leanne Tander (Audi) in 14th, while Brown (Hyundai) could only clock the 15th best time.

The field will return to the track for qualifying on Saturday at 1035 local time, before Race 1 at 1345, broadcast live on SBS and via the Shannons Nationals live stream carried by Speedcafe.com.

Results: TCR Australia Practice 2, The Bend Motorsport Park

Pos Num Driver Team Car Time Gap
1   50 Tony D’Alberto (Vic)    Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   2:10.5002
2    8 Jason Bright (Vic)      Taskforce / Alliance Autosport Volkswagon Golf GTI  2:10.5544 00.0542
3   24 John Martin (NSW)       Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   2:10.7467 00.2465
4   38 Jordan Cox (NSW)        Wall Racing                    Honda Civic Type R   2:10.7528 00.2526
5    9 Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)    Ashley Seward Motorsport       Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2:10.8433 00.3431
6    4 Garth Tander (Vic)      Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            2:10.8744 00.3742
7  777 Andre Heimgartner (NZ)  Kelly Racing                   Subaru WRX STi       2:11.5487 01.0485
8    7 Jimmy Vernon (NSW)      Garry Rogers Motorsport        Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2:11.6404 01.1402
9   11 Nathan Morcom (NSW)     HMO Customer Racing            Hyundai i30N         2:11.9318 01.4316
10   2 Aaron Cameron (Vic)     Melbourne Performance Centre   Volkswagen Golf GTI  2:11.9651 01.4649
11 100 Russell Ingall (Qld)    Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            2:12.3555 01.8553
12  33 Chris Pither (NZ)       Garry Rogers Motorsport        Renault Megane RS    2:12.3891 01.8889
13  62 Alex Rullo (WA)         Kelly Racing                   Holden Astra         2:12.6929 02.1927
14   3 Leanne Tander (Vic)     Melbourne Performance Centre   Audi RS 3            2:12.7566 02.2564
15  30 William Brown (Qld)     HMO Customer Racing            Hyundai i30N         2:12.8408 02.3406
16  35 Alexandra Whitley (Qld) Alliance Autosport             Volkswagon Golf GTI  2:15.0101 04.5099
17   6 Molly Taylor (NSW)      Kelly Racing                   Subaru WRX STi       2:15.5143 05.0141
18  37 Chelsea Angelo (Vic)    Kelly Racing                   Holden Astra         2:15.9486 05.4484

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