Wall eager to relive Super Tourers days at Bathurst

Rickard Rydell’s 1998 pole lap is a famous Mount Panorama moment. Picture: Polestar

David Wall is eager to see the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series emulate the days of Super Tourers racing at Mount Panorama, this weekend.

The Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour represents the first time that TCR Australia will race at the famed circuit, 22-and-a-half years after the last 1000km enduro for Super Tourers there.

Wall has fond memories of those days, including Rickard Rydell’s stunning 2:14.9265s pole lap in a Volvo S40 in 1998.

The head of the eponymous squad which runs Honda Civics in TCR Australia also thinks the modern-day front-wheel drive weapons could even give Rydell’s marker a nudge.

“I think these cars are going to be amazing there,” Wall told Speedcafe.com.

“Obviously the lap record there is [held by] Rickard Rydell, I think, in a 14.9… I mean, as a kid, I used to watch those cars and think about how amazing those two-litre cars were.

“I think you’re going to be very similar time-wise with the current TCR cars heading out there.

“We haven’t been there before with the TCR car, but we feel like we’ve got a reasonable car to start there and obviously we’ll know more after Practice 1.”

All of the Civics wanted for pace in Round 1 of TCR Australia at Symmons Plains, but were genuine top five cars last time out at Phillip Island, where Tony D’Alberto finished second in the #50 Honda Wall Racing in Race 3.

While still hamstrung by the baseline balance of performance settings, they benefited from the compensation weights added to other cars at Phillip Island, as well as some of Wall Racing’s own tweaks.

Mount Panorama being a circuit with a lot of flat-out running, like Symmons Plains, Wall expects that the team will struggle in one sector in particular, namely “the really big, uphill one,” but is hopeful of being able to make up time across the top.

“Is Sector 1 [control line to Reid Park] going to be our strongest sector at Bathurst? I don’t think so,” he admitted.

“But, Sector 2, if we get our part of it right, we’ll hopefully make up for our deficit in Sector 1.

“Sector 3 [dominated by Conrod Straight], I don’t think we’ll be as bad given it’s downhill, but I suppose it is unknown.

“We’re not a hundred percent sure on how they were going to all come out compared to the other marques, and I don’t think anyone else is, really; we’ll all know once we get going where everyone actually lies.

“But, given it such a unique venue, there are going to be some differences, for sure.

“You’ve got Garth [Tander] coming in for the weekend with no effective compensation weight; you’ve got Jordan Cox [Round 1 winner], who’s obviously genuinely pretty fast anyway, but he has very good compensation weight from Phillip Island heading there.

“So, I think there are going to be some differences from Philip Island anyway, but time will tell.”

Tony D’Alberto. Picture: Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series

While it will be D’Alberto and John Martin in the Wall Racing Civics, David Wall himself will get behind the wheel in Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS.

He will share a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo with Adrian Deitz, who drove a Ferrari 488 in Round 1 at Phillip Island which struck a technical drama.

“Tony was going to do the [GTWC round], but has elected to concentrate on his TCR and effectively I’m filling in for him,” explained Wall.

“As far as the Ferrari side of things goes, they didn’t have a very straightforward event at Phillip Island and given the timeframe of the turnaround to get to Bathurst, this was the most straightforward, logical way to get Adrian into the event.

“When I got the call to say, ‘Hey, would you mind filling in?’ you don’t really have to think that hard about it.

“We had to move some things around on the TCR side of things to make sure that everything there was covered, but I’m absolutely looking forward to it; it looks like there’s a stellar field.

“I haven’t raced in Australian GT since 2011, at Sydney Motorsport Park, so to go back to the series and share a beautiful car with Adrian, it’s going to be awesome, obviously.”

Opening practice for each of Supercheap Auto TCR Australia and GT World Challenge takes place this morning.

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