Cox tops first TCR practice session at Bathurst

Jordan Cox. Picture: Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series

Jordan Cox has topped the first ever Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series practice session at Mount Panorama.

The magic number was a 2:17.7926s, Cox vaulting all the way from 15th with the chequered flag out on the half-hour morning hit-out at the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.

In doing so, the Alfa Romeo driver upstaged then-fast man Garth Tander and fellow Giulietta steerer Lee Holdsworth, the latter of whom held sway for the majority of proceedings.

Cox’s margin over Tander (Audi) was 0.8382s, with Holdsworth 0.2983s further back, while Wall Racing Honda duo John Martin and Tony D’Alberto rounded out the top five.

Brad Shiels, who was prominent throughout, finished sixth, and series leader Chaz Mostert eighth.

The session began in cool conditions and there was a red flag before anyone had a chance to complete a lap, with the cause unclear but timing suggesting Ben Bargwanna (Peugeot) may have had something to do with it.

Once everyone had a chance to log an unbroken 6.213km tour, Shiels was quickest with a 2:25.0082s in his Hyundai, around half a second up on Holdsworth’s 2:25.5148s.

Holdsworth took chunks out of the benchmark time on each of his next four laps, setting a 2:23.2923s, a 2:21.3664s, a 2:19.9194s, and then a 2:18.9736s.

Martin got close with a touch over five minutes remaining, clocking a 2:19.1720s that would be his best of the session, and Mostert briefly held third with a 2:20.2092s soon after in his Audi.

Tander rolled out his best, a 2:18.6308s, inside the final two minutes and that looked to have done the trick when Holdsworth could only improve to a 2:18.9291s on his second run proper.

However, there was still time for Cox, who won the opening round of the season at Symmons Plains, to put one over the former Supercars full-timers.

D’Alberto crept up to fifth even later in the piece with a 2:19.5698s, with the rest of the top 10 being Shiels, Zac Soutar (Honda), Mostert, Josh Buchan (Hyundai), and last-start race winner Jason Bargwanna (Peugeot) at 2.7211s off the pace.

Ben Bargwanna did end up setting a 2:30.1449s which left him 21st, and James Moffat (Renault) propped up the timesheet with a seemingly unrepresentative 2:36.2383s having sat in the pits for most of the session.

Practice 2 starts this afternoon at 14:15 local time/AEDT.

Results: Practice 1

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 5 Garry Rogers Motorsport Jordan Cox Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2:17.7926
2 75 Melbourne Performance Centre Garth Tander Audi RS 3 2:18.6308 0:00.8382
3 10 Ashley Seward Motorsport Lee Holdsworth Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2:18.9291 0:01.1365
4 24 Mobil 1 Wall Racing John Martin Honda Civic Type R 2:19.1720 0:01.3794
5 50 Honda Wall Racing Tony D’Alberto Honda Civic Type R 2:19.5698 0:01.7772
6 333 Tilton Racing Brad Shiels Hyundai i30N 2:19.7517 0:01.9591
7 110 Team Soutar Motorsport Zac Soutar Honda Civic Type R 2:19.8471 0:02.0545
8 25 MPC Bostik Racing Chaz Mostert Audi RS 3 2:20.2092 0:02.4166
9 30 HMO Customer Racing Josh Buchan Hyundai i30N 2:20.3138 0:02.5212
10 17 Burson Auto Parts Racing Jason Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 2:20.5137 0:02.7211
11 2 MPC Moutai Luke King Audi RS 3 2:21.6853 0:03.8927
12 15 Michael Clemente Motorsport Michael Clemente Honda Civic Type R 2:21.7155 0:03.9229
13 18 Team Valvoline GRM Aaron Cameron Peugeot 308 TCR 2:21.9682 0:04.1756
14 9 Ashley Seward Motorsport Jay Hanson Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2:22.4986 0:04.7060
15 7 Valvoline Racing GRM Michael Caruso Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2:23.3129 0:05.5203
16 11 HMO Customer Racing Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30N 2:24.5976 0:06.8050
17 33 Lowbake Racing GRM Dylan O’Keeffe Renault Megane RS 2:25.1929 0:07.4003
18 37 MPC Astrontech Racing Chelsea Angelo Volkswagen Golf GTI 2:25.3185 0:07.5259
19 130 HMO Customer Racing Duvashen Padayachee Hyundai i30N 2:26.0586 0:08.2660
20 97 Varta Batteries Liam McAdam Audi RS 3 2:27.4360 0:09.6434
21 71 Burson Auto Parts Racing Ben Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 2:30.1449 0:12.3523
22 34 LMCT+ Racing GRM James Moffat Renault Megane RS 2:36.2383 0:18.4457

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