Record lap puts Cox on top at TCR Bathurst 400

Jordan Cox

A pair of last-ditch flying laps have confirmed Jordan Cox’s early upper hand at the TCR Bathurst 400.

The #5 Alfa Romeo driver finished both Supercheap Auto TCR Australia practice sessions today well clear of the field.

In Practice 1 this morning, Cox was quickest on a 2:17.1491s – a benchmark which no other driver got within 1.3s of.

Come Practice 2, Cox left it late to make a charge on the timesheets, having been rooted to the bottom of the timesheets without a representative lap time until the dying minutes.

That’s when he sprung to life, posting a 2:15.4306s on what would be his penultimate timed effort, smashing the TCR practice/qualifying lap record from the Bathurst 6 Hour event earlier this year by almost four tenths.

He would be even quicker the next time around, improving to a 2:15.2422s with the chequered flag out.

In a quirk, even the new practice/qualifying lap record remains slower than the TCR race lap record at Bathurst; a 2:14.8162s set by Chaz Mostert during Race 1 of the Easter event.

Series leader Mostert was a non-starter in Practice 2 after crashing this morning.

German ace Chris Mies also missed the entire day of running as he completes a 72-hour quarantine period in line with new regulations for international arrivals triggered by the recent emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The other key late improver of Practice 2 was Michael Caruso, recording a 2:16.0505s to leapfrog Ben Bargwanna, who had held sway for the bulk of the second half-hour session.

Every driver down to James Moffat in eighth set a faster Practice 2 time than Cox’s Practice 1 pace-setter, with Jay Hanson, Dylan O’Keeffe, Aaron Cameron, and Luke King filling fourth through seventh.

King holds the status of being the nearest title threat to Melbourne Performance Centre Audi team-mate Mostert, albeit 106 points adrift.

The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia field will be back on-track tomorrow morning for a two-part qualifying session, starting at 09:30 local time/AEDT.

Results: Combined practice, Supercheap Auto TCR Australia

Pos Num Driver Car Time Diff
1 5 Jordan Cox Alfa Romeo Giulietta 02:15.2422
2 150 Michael Caruso Alfa Romeo Giulietta 02:16.0505 +0.8083
3 71 Ben Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 02:16.1430 +0.9008
4 9 Jay Hanson Alfa Romeo Giulietta 02:16.3593 +1.1171
5 33 Dylan O’Keeffe Renault Megane RS 02:16.3832 +1.1410
6 155 Aaron Cameron Peugeot 308 TCR 02:16.5388 +1.2966
7 2 Luke King Audi RS 3 02:16.5809 +1.3387
8 34 James Moffat Renault Megane RS 02:16.6864 +1.4442
9 333 Bradley Shiels Hyundai i30N 02:17.3035 +2.0613
10 24 John Martin Honda Civic Type R 02:17.4103 +2.1681
11 17 Jason Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 02:17.7284 +2.4862
12 11 Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30N 02:18.0204 +2.7782
13 30 Josh Buchan Hyundai i30N 02:19.0081 +3.7659
14 14 Lachlan Mineeff Volkswagen Golf GTI 02:19.0609 +3.8187
15 110 Zac Soutar Honda Civic Type R 02:19.1113 +3.8691
16 25 Chaz Mostert Audi RS 3 04:39.3446 +2:24.1024

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