King eyeing Round 2 return for TCR

Luke King

Luke King will be a notable absentee from the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia grid when the 2022 season commences this weekend at Symmons Plains.

King impressed last year with how he matched up against Melbourne Performance Centre team-mate Chaz Mostert, entering the Mount Panorama finale second in the standings.

He dropped to fourth in the final pointscore, but nevertheless made his mark across a consistent campaign.

However, a shortfall in sponsorship has relegated him to the sidelines for AWC Race Tasmania this Friday to Sunday.

“We’re probably as surprised as anyone, really,” the 30-year-old told Speedcafe.com.

“I mean, our plan was to always be on the grid.

“We kind of matched Chaz from the outset in qualifying [last year], which I was pretty surprised at in myself. We would have loved to have carried that on and used what we learnt all year down at Tassie.

“After a full season it would have been good to get back to see what we could do, but it’s just not possible at this stage.”

The New South Wales Central Coast resident is optimistic of returning in time for Round 2 at Phillip Island next month (March 18-20).

“We’re working on some pretty exciting opportunities with sponsors at the moment and we’ve got heaps of good conversations happening, it’s just a matter of timing and locking it in basically,” King said.

“We’re looking at opportunities with a few different teams at the moment and it’s whoever is able to fit… I think not being at Tassie might actually give us an opportunity to sit back and see where the field shapes up.”

With an expanded seven-round schedule mapped out for this season, King thinks there would still be time to mount a title challenge even after giving his rivals a Tasmania-sized headstart.

“Definitely for the championship with the extended rounds compared to last year, I think we’re a good shot,” he said.

“Coxy [Jordan Cox] had a few pretty poor events in the Alfa throughout last year so if he could finish top three, essentially with all his DNFs he missed a round – so with more races, I think if we started from Round 2 onwards we’d be a pretty good shot at being the dark horse.”

MPC will field four cars at Race Tasmania, for Will Brown, Jay Hanson, Iain McDougall, and Eddie Maguire.

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