Soutar pips GRM duo in TCR practice at Symmons Plains

Zac Soutar. Picture: Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series.

Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series privateer Zac Soutar has set the pace in an ultra-tight Friday of practice for Round 1 of the 2022 season at Symmons Plains.

Soutar wheeled his Honda Civic Type R to a 0:55.4522s in the latter stages of the second, half-hour session for the hot hatch category at AWC Race Tasmania, knocking off some of the big names in the field.

James Moffat and Dylan O’Keeffe made for two Garry Rogers Motorsport entries in a top three covered by only 0.0317s, with debutant Fabian Coulthard fourth-quickest in a Wall Racing Honda and Practice 1 fast man Will Brown fifth.

HMO Customer Racing’s Nathan Morcom was quick early on, moving the benchmark on each of his first three flying laps.

The Hyundai driver held sway with a 0:55.8952s when he pitted after half a dozen minutes, before Brown steered his Melbourne Performance Centre Audi RS 3 to a 0:55.7794s.

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Morcom took the ascendancy back from his former team-mate in clocking a 0:55.6972s on his second run in the #11 i30 N, before Brown responded in kind with a 0:55.5838s.

O’Keeffe then rolled out back-to-back 0:55.5062s and 0:55.4839s laps in his Peugeot 308, but the latter was bettered moments after when team-mate Moffat achieved a 0:55.4811s in his Renault Megane RS.

Soutar (Team Soutar Motorsport) went faster than all of them with that 0:55.4522s inside the final six minutes, and there was little movement at the pointy end thereafter.

Coulthard did, however, subsequently creep from fifth to fourth with a 0:55.4996s, a time which was only 0.0474s slower than Soutar’s best and less than a tenth quicker than Brown’s.

Sixth through ninth were Jordan Cox (Peugeot), Morcom, Tony D’Alberto (Honda), and Josh Buchan (Hyundai), the latter of whom was last classified of those to go underneath Brown’s practice 1 benchmark of 0:55.7197s.

Bailey Sweeny (Hyundai) rounded out the top 10, 2021 series runner-up Aaron Cameron (Peugeot) was 11th, and Michael Caruso ended up 19th with a 1:00.6551s after a power steering problem for the Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

Caruso thus propped up the timesheet for Practice 2, with Kody Garland not taking to the track after crashing his Renault in Practice 1.

Qualifying, to be held in two parts, starts tomorrow at 14:20 local time/AEDT and will be streamed live on Stan Sport.

Results: Practice 2

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 110 Team Soutar Motorsport Zac Soutar Honda Civic Type R 0:55.4522
2 34 LMCT+ Racing GRM James Moffat Renault Megane RS 0:55.4811 0:00.0289
3 8 Schaeffler GRM Dylan O’Keeffe Peugeot 308 TCR 0:55.4839 0:00.0317
4 24 Stan Sport Wall Racing Fabian Coulthard Honda Civic Type R 0:55.4996 0:00.0474
5 999 MPC Team LIQUI MOLY William Brown Audi RS 3 0:55.5838 0:00.1316
6 33 Swyftx GRM Jordan Cox Renault Megane RS 0:55.6214 0:00.1692
7 11 HMO Customer Racing Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30N 0:55.6226 0:00.1704
8 50 Honda Wall Racing Tony D’Alberto Honda Civic Type R 0:55.6574 0:00.2052
9 30 HMO Customer Racing Josh Buchan Hyundai i30N 0:55.7042 0:00.2520
10 130 HMO Customer Racing Bailey Sweeny Hyundai i30N 0:55.8600 0:00.4078
11 18 Team Valvoline GRM Aaron Cameron Peugeot 308 TCR 0:55.8683 0:00.4161
12 333 Royal Purple Racing Brad Shiels Hyundai i30N 0:55.9390 0:00.4868
13 9 AWC MPC Racing Jay Hanson Audi RS 3 0:56.0304 0:00.5782
14 71 Burson Auto Parts Racing Ben Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 0:56.0511 0:00.5989
15 97 Forza Brakes Motorsport Liam McAdam Audi RS 3 0:56.0973 0:00.6451
16 14 Purple Sector Lachlan Mineeff Volkswagen Golf GTI 0:56.2543 0:00.8021
17 89 Braydan Willmington M’Sport Braydan Willmington Alfa Romeo Giulietta 0:56.6487 0:01.1965
18 44 Melbourne Performance Centre Eddie Maguire Volkswagen Golf GTI 0:57.2066 0:01.7544
19 10 Ashley Seward Motorsport Michael Caruso Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1:00.6551 0:05.2029

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