Sweeny tops opening practice for TCR Australia


Bailey Sweeny has set the pace in Practice 1 for the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series

Bailey Sweeny has set the pace in Practice 1 for the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series at AWC Race Tasmania.

Sweeny (Hyundai) topped the timesheets in the 30-minute session with a 0:55.9259s, ahead of Will Brown (Audi) (0:55.9357s), with Zac Soutar (Audi) third-fastest (0:56.4309s).

The two-time TCR Australia Series race winner backed up his pace from the TCR tyre test yesterday, where he quickly came to grips with the new control Kumho tyres.

Kody Garland (Peugeot) set the first representative time with a 0:59.0218s, with Brown going to the top a short time later after setting a 0:58.2845s.

Ben Bargwanna (Peugeot) went to P1 with a 0:56.8129s on his second lap, before reigning title winner Tony D’Alberto (Honda) vaulted to the top with a 0:56.7068s on his third lap.

Bargwanna briefly bettered the benchmark with a 0:56.4571s on his third lap, before Brown returned to the top with a 0:56.0389s on his fourth lap.

The Toowoomba native went even faster the following lap with a 0:55.9357s, filing into the pits after that effort, as Soutar moved into P2 with a 0:56.4309s on his fifth pass.

Sweeney displaced Soutar for second with a 0:56.1391s on his seventh lap.

With 10 minutes of the session complete, the order was Brown, Sweeny, Soutar, Bargwanna and D’Alberto rounding out the top five, with Aaron Cameron (Peugeot), Jordan Cox (Peugeot), Garland, British Touring Car Championship race winner Tom Oliphant (Alfa Romeo) and Michael Clemente (Audi) rounding out the top 10 for Carl Cox Motorsport.

Sweeny vaulted into first with a 0:55.9259s on his ninth lap, prompting Brown to return to the track as the former returned to pit lane.

The session was red-flagged with just over 11 minutes on the clock, with Cox needing to be towed back into the pits after stopping with what appeared to be a technical issue at the exit of the hairpin.

The session went green with just over seven minutes on the clock, with Sweeny topping the timesheets from Brown, Soutar, Bargwanna, D’Alberto, Cameron, Cox, Garland, Josh Buchan (Hyundai) and Lachlan Mineeff (Audi).

The top 10 remained unchanged from then on, with Oliphant, Clemente and Iain McDougall (Audi) completing the order.

TCR Australia will next head on track for Practice 2 at 15:00 local time/AEDT.

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