Bargwanna aiming to qualify for TCR World Final in Macau

Ben Bargwanna is pursuing a spot in the TCR World Final. Image: Daniel Kalisz/RACE PROJECT

Ben Bargwanna will join the likes of Paul Morris, Brad Jones, Peter Brock and Mark Skaife in tackling the famed Macau Guia Circuit, which concludes the TCR World Tour this weekend.

Bargwanna finished the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series in seventh and currently needs 30-points this weekend in Macau to qualify for the TCR World Final in Portimao on March 1-3, which if he does will knock out Garry Rogers Motorsport team-mate Aaron Cameron.

The target all season has been for Bargwanna to qualify for the TCR World Final, with the top 15 from the TCR World Tour standings automatically going through and the top 45 from the TCR World Ranking at the end of September doing likewise.

Macau will be Bargwanna’s fifth round of the TCR World Tour after taking in Portimao, Spa, Sydney Motorsport Park and Bathurst last weekend as he finished a best of 10th following mechanical problems across the two local events.

The famed street circuit is one of the most challenging in the world due to its tight confines, a challenge Bargwanna is excited to tackle.

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“I’ve had a pretty big year competing in Portugal, at Spa, Bathurst and now Macau,” he said. “I’m pretty pumped, but also pretty scared as the walls are all around that joint.

“It’s going to be a massive challenge, two practice sessions is all I get, so I’m looking forward to it and can’t wait.

Preparations have been aided by Team Clairet Sport, who Bargwanna re-joins once again after contesting the Europeans rounds with the squad in what is a frantic month as he returns to Australia to contest the final S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship event in Adelaide the following weekend.

“The sim has smoke coming off it I’ve been using it that much and I’ve been able to utilise a lot of onboard, the Clairets have been very good with that,” Bargwanna explained.

“I’ve been just flat out watching footage and doing as many laps as I can on the sim in addition to talking to some of the drivers. At the end of the day it’s the same as any track, it’s going to be different in the flesh and a real eye opener.”

Following an impressive European cameo earlier in the season, pole position at Sydney Motorsport Park for the first Australian round of TCR World Tour proved the only bright spot for Bargwanna, with bad luck potentially costing him a smooth qualification into the TCR World Final.

“At the end of the day we’ve still got to find a way to get there,” said Bargwanna.

“We’re doing everything in our power to get make it happen and if we can make it into the top 15 in the TCR World Tour, then we get a guaranteed spot in the final.

“We’ve got to work as hard as we can. We’ve got two more races at Macau and we’ll try to find some money to get there.”

Bargwanna has committed to the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series where he is expected to be one of the first to compete in GRM’s new Peugeot 308 TCR.

“That’s the plan at the moment,” he confirmed. “GRM is building the new Peugeots, so if we can be part of that it’d be awesome.

“TCR is quite dear to me, so it’s my focus though anything can happen from here.”

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