Cox sets pace as Hanson crashes in opening TCR practice

Jordan Cox (middle)

Jordan Cox has topped a stop-start first session of the year at Mount Panorama for the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series.

Running as the lead support act at the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour, the 21-strong TCR field rolled out this morning for an initial half-hour block of practice.

However, red flags would prevent any representative lap times from being set until the closing stages.

The chief delay came about when Jay Hanson crashed at The Cutting.

A winner of two races this season, Hanson is set to continue this weekend by virtue of switching to a spare car prepared by his Melbourne Performance Centre team.

Ashley Seward Motorsport driver Michael Caruso is also on the back foot early after engine dramas forced him to spend the bulk of the session in pit lane.

A time extension of five minutes was added onto the session given the circumstances, which allowed for a flurry of late times.

Tim Slade had held sway when Practice 1 resumed, albeit on an unrepresentative 3:06.0704s.

The timing screens soon lit up and it was Cox that went to the top after the first runs with a 2:18.7444s, with Bailey Sweeny the only driver within 1.6s of him at that point.

Ben Bargwanna, Sweeny and Aaron Cameron all lowered the session-best time to Sector 1 the next time around, but it would be Cox who maintained the upper hand as he banged in a 2:17.0767s.

Cameron would get close on a 2:17.2574s, but the benchmark would stand even as times tumbled further back in the pack amid a third set of flyers.

All told, it was Cox over Cameron by 0.1807s, with Dylan O’Keeffe next best – more than a second off Cameron’s time.

Bargwanna, Sweeney, series leader Tony D’Alberto, Josh Buchan, Nathan Morcom, Bradley Shiels and James Moffat made up fourth through 10th.

Debutant Tim Slade, who is substituting for a COVID-stricken Fabian Coulthard this weekend, was the last of the drivers in the 2:19s bracket in 11th.

Practice 2 for Supercheap Auto TCR Australia is due to commence at 14:00 AEST.

Results: Practice 1

Position Number Team Driver Vehicle Fastest lap Gap
1 33 Swyftx GRM Jordan Cox Peugeot 308 TCR 2:17.0767
2 18 Team Valvoline GRM Aaron Cameron Peugeot 308 TCR 2:17.2574 +0.1807
3 8 Schaeffler GRM Dylan O’Keeffe Peugeot 308 TCR 2:18.2751 +1.1984
4 71 Burson Auto Parts Racing Ben Bargwanna Peugeot 308 TCR 2:18.3971 +1.3204
5 130 HMO Customer Racing Bailey Sweeny Hyundai i30N TCR 2:18.5802 +1.5035
6 50 Honda Wall Racing Tony D’Alberto Honda Civic Type R TCR 2:18.9890 +1.9123
7 30 HMO Customer Racing Josh Buchan Hyundai i30N TCR 2:19.1051 +2.0284
8 11 HMO Customer Racing Nathan Morcom Hyundai i30N TCR 2:19.2574 +2.1807
9 333 Royal Purple Racing Brad Shiels Hyundai i30N TCR 2:19.4691 +2.3924
10 34 LMCT+ Racing GRM James Moffat Renault Megane R.S. TCR 2:19.4902 +2.4135
11 24 Stan Sport Wall Racing Tim Slade Honda Civic Type R TCR 2:19.8495 +2.7728
12 22 Melbourne Performance Centre Iain McDougall Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2:20.1160 +3.0393
13 41 Valvoline Racing GRM Kody Garland Renault Megane R.S. TCR 2:21.1132 +4.0365
14 999 MPC Team LIQUI MOLY Will Brown Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2:21.2708 +4.1941
15 110 Team Soutar Motorsport Zac Soutar Honda Civic Type R TCR 2:21.5729 +4.4962
16 2 DashSport Luke King Hyundai i30 N TCR 2:22.1286 +5.0519
17 14 Purple Sector Lachlan Mineeff Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR 2:22.1690 +5.0923
18 15 Michael Clemente Motorsport Michael Clemente Honda Civic Type R TCR 2:22.8600 +5.7833
19 89 Braydan Willmington Motorsports Braydan Willmington Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR 2:26.5158 +9.4391
20 10 Ashley Seward Motorsport Michael Caruso Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR 3:17.1241 +1:00.0474
21 9 AWC MPC Racing Jay Hanson Audi RS3 LMS TCR 3:34.7241 +1:17.6474

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