Hanson sets early pace at Phillip Island

Jay Hanson’s #9 Audi

Jay Hanson has shown he’ll be a force to be reckoned with once again this weekend after topping Practice 1 for Supercheap Auto TCR Australia at Phillip Island.

Armed this year with a new and improved Audi RS3 LMS TCR, Hanson won the opening race of the season at Symmons Plains last month.

The early signs are that he’ll be just as quick at a very different style of circuit, having been the driver to beat throughout the 25-minute session run in the middle of the day at The Island.

Hanson was the best of those through the first stint out on track, working his way down to a 1:36.4024s before pitting at the midway point.

Lap times didn’t tumble far from there, Hanson’s effort remaining quicker than any of his rivals could manage – although Dylan O’Keeffe would move up to second with a 1:36.6312s.

Having sat in the pits for quite some time, Hanson further asserted his dominance by lowering his own benchmark with a 1:36.2042s set after the chequered flag.

That gave the Melbourne Performance Centre youngster an ultimate buffer of 0.4270s to the field as O’Keeffe hung onto second, ahead of Michael Caruso’s 1:36.7703s in third.

The trio made for three different manufacturers and teams in the top three, O’Keeffe running in a Garry Rogers Motorsport Peugeot, and Caruso representing Ashley Seward Motorsport in an Alfa Romeo.

The pace had been rather pedestrian out of the box, TCR returnee Iain McDougall (Melbourne Performance Centre Audi) holding top spot after the first round of ‘flyers’ with a 1:47.0676s.

Hanson shaved more than nine seconds off the mark the next time around with a 1:37.7815s, before engaging in a lap-by-lap battle with Will Brown in another MPC Audi for supremacy.

Brown, the series’ inaugural winner in 2019, wound up fifth, one place behind Aaron Cameron (GRM Peugeot).

Eight cars were within a second of Hanson at the end, that group also including the lead Wall Racing Honda of Tony D’Alberto, GRM’s Jordan Cox (Peugeot), and Nathan Morcom of HMO Customer Racing/Hyundai.

Liam McAdam (Forza Brakes Motorsport Audi) and series leader Josh Buchan (HMO Customer Racing Hyundai) rounded out the 10.

Rookie Kody Garland was the top Renault in 12th, four places ahead of stable-mate James Moffat, while Stan Sport-backed Fabian Coulthard was 13th.

Another half-hour of practice will get underway at 14:35 local time/AEDT.

Results: Practice 1, Supercheap Auto TCR Australia

Pos Number Driver Model Best lap Diff
1 9 Jay Hanson Audi RS3 LMS TCR 1:36.2042
2 8 Dylan O’Keeffe Peugeot 308 TCR 1:36.6312 +0.4270
3 10 Michael Caruso Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR 1:36.7703 +0.5661
4 18 Aaron Cameron Peugeot 308 TCR 1:36.7925 +0.5883
5 999 Will Brown Audi RS3 LMS TCR 1:36.8860 +0.6818
6 50 Tony D’Alberto Honda Civic Type R TCR 1:36.8907 +0.6865
7 33 Jordan Cox Peugeot 308 TCR 1:37.0447 +0.8405
8 11 Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30N TCR 1:37.0829 +0.8787
9 97 Liam McAdam Audi RS3 LMS TCR 1:37.2204 +1.0162
10 30 Josh Buchan Hyundai i30N TCR 1:37.3079 +1.1037
11 15 Michael Clemente Honda Civic Type R TCR 1:37.4134 +1.2092
12 41 Kody Garland Renault Megane R.S. TCR 1:37.4317 +1.2275
13 24 Fabian Coulthard Honda Civic Type R TCR 1:37.4586 +1.2544
14 130 Bailey Sweeny Hyundai i30N TCR 1:37.6918 +1.4876
15 22 Iain McDougall Audi RS3 LMS TCR 1:37.7493 +1.5451
16 34 James Moffat Renault Megane R.S. TCR 1:37.8733 +1.6691
17 333 Brad Shiels Hyundai i30N TCR 1:37.9048 +1.7006
18 110 Zac Soutar Honda Civic Type R TCR 1:38.1972 +1.9930
19 71 Ben Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 1:38.2879 +2.0837
20 14 Lachlan Mineeff Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR 1:38.7981 +2.5939
21 89 Braydan Willmington Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR 1:40.2151 +4.0109

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