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WTCR ace setting sights on TCR Bathurst race

Tom Howard

Saturday 21st September, 2019 - 6:00am

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Nestor Girolami

WTCR ace Nestor Girolami has put his hand up for a drive in the TCR enduro that is set to headline next year’s fifth event at Bathurst.

Mount Panorama is set to host an international TCR race in December 2020 after it was confirmed this week that TCR Australia promoters. the Australian Racing Group. had won the rights to host a new event at Bathurst.

It is understood a 500km TCR international enduro is at the heart of the bid which has piqued the interest of Girolami, who is contesting a one-off drive in TCR Australia at Sandown this weekend.

The outing is the two-time Super TC 2000 champion’s first race in Australia.

Racing at Australia’s most iconic circuit has been a long term ambition for the 30-year-old from Argentina, who admits logging laps at Bathurst on his simulator is among his hobbies.

“For sure I would love to do it (the fifth event at Bathurst),” Girolami, who sits sixth in the WTCR standings, told Speedcafe.com.

“This weekend I have to focus on this race and after this I will see what is going on with my new commitment for next year. As a Honda driver I want to drive as much as I can.

“For me next year I think I will continue in TCR with Honda, so whatever they want to do I will follow them.

“I hope so,” he replied, when asked if there is chance he will return to Australia.

“I’m looking forward to do this weekend and then if something happens in the future then maybe I can do more races.

“I have done a lot of laps (of Bathurst) in the simulator because this track is amazing.

“When there are races there I always watch them because it is an amazing show.

“There are four events at Mount Panorama and maybe five now, so I hope to be at one of them.

“It has been interesting for me to race in Australia because I follow Supercars, as it is one of the most exciting series in the world I would say.

“For sure once in my life I would like to race in Supercars and at Mount Panorama as it is one of the most crazy tracks in the world.

“I have done Macau and I think the next one would be Mount Panorama for sure.”

While a renowned touring car star in South America and in Europe, Girolami has wasted little time in showing his class on Australian soil.

The factory Honda TCR driver, racing for Wall Racing, dominated both practice sessions on his Sandown debut, topping Friday’s second practice by an impressive 1.4s over nearest rival Liam McAdam.

Girolami has played down his dominance citing that he had a tyre advantage over his rivals.

“Everybody will have new tyres the same as me, so for sure we are fast and are doing quite well, but we don’t expect to have this gap for Saturday,” he added.

“The guys are there and they will catch up soon. They are improving and they had used tyres so this gap will not be.

“It will be hard to keep in pole but we will do our best.”

TCR Australia Round 6 continues today with qualifying scheduled for 1015 AEST.

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