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Ingall: TCR a race craft proving ground for young guns

Tom Howard

Monday 5th August, 2019 - 11:43am

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Russell Ingall ahead of young guns Andre Heimgartner and Jordan Cox

Supercars veteran Russell Ingall believes TCR Australia provides an almost unrivalled experience for young drivers to develop and hone their race craft skills.

The comments come after the 2005 Supercars champion enjoyed a successful second appearance in the new two litre touring car platform by scoring a trio of podiums at Queensland Raceway.

Equipped with the most experience on the grid, Ingall believes the TCR cars require a lot of skill to tame and easily punish drivers for errors.

Those driving characteristics combined with short, sharp, action packed races in Ingall’s eyes makes TCR a good proving ground for young drivers to learn the art of race craft.

“I think the category is great, it’s a great category for young drivers to learn how to race, because the racing will get tougher,” said Ingall.

“And there’s not too many other categories around that you can jump in to and get this sort of racing experience.

“The cars aren’t like anything else, but that’s not the point. The point is, race craft is worth a lot more than just learning how to go fast.

“To drive it fast you have to drive it on the edge, and when you drive it on the edge, mistakes happen.

“That’s the good thing about it, all of a sudden you get changes in position.

“When I think of a Supercar, there’s a lot of leeway there. If you make a mistake, you can collect it up or you’ve got enough power to get you out of trouble.

“In these you make a mistake, it punishes you.”

Driving a Melbourne Performance Centre Audi RS3, Ingall finished third behind WTCR star Jean-Karl Vernay in Race 1 before following young gun Dylan O’Keeffe (Alfa Romeo) home in Sunday’s pair of 21 lap heats.

Ingall has been racing on a round-by-round basis having made his debut for MPC at The Bend Motorsport Park last month.

However, having thoroughly enjoyed the racing he is hopeful of a return at Winton, which hosts Round 5 from August 30-September 1.

“For sure (I’d like to continue), but it’s not my call at the end of the day. I’m sure there will be some phone calls and chat,” Ingall added.

“The level in this category is very, very high, I mean, we’re pushing on which bodes well for the championship in general because I think all the way down the field there’s talent, and there’s unpredictability. That’s the good thing about it.

“At any one time, a team, a driver, a car can get up there. How many categories do you see that around the place?

“I enjoy that. I enjoy that you can go into a race and half a chance of getting a trophy. It makes racing enjoyable.”

After six races Ingall sits 10th in the series overall standings that are led by HMO Customer Racing’s Will Brown, who has a 55 point margin over O’Keeffe.

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