Sydney TCR: Hyundais lead first Australian series practice

Hyundai drivers Michael Almond and Nathan Morcom topped the first-ever TCR Australia practice session at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Sydney TCR: Hyundais lead first Australian series practice

Almond was a somewhat surprising pacesetter in a solid field for the TCR Australia opener, the Carrera Cup regular the man to beat for almost the entirety of the 30-minute hit-out.

He first went quickest when he became the first driver into the 1m36s after seven minutes, before improving to a mid-1m35s almost immediately.

Almond then set the benchmark of 1m35.232s a third of the way into the session, which at that point gave him a whopping 1.2s margin over the rest of the field.

Not long before the halfway mark Honda driver John Martin closed the gap to eight-tenths, before HMO Customer Racing Hyundai driver Morcom got within 0.459s.

That was as close as anyway was able to go, though, with the top three not improving in the closing stages of the session.

Will Brown capped off an impressive opening session for Hyundai-shod drivers by going fourth quickest, followed by European import and very early pacesetter Rik Breukers in the Melbourne Performance Centre Audi.

Tony D'Alberto was sixth in his factory-supported Honda, Alfa driver Dylan O'Keeffe seventh, Chris Pither in the Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault eighth and former Bathurst 1000 winner Jason Bright ninth in his Golf.

Jimmy Vernon rounded out the Top 10 in his GRM-run Alfa.

There wasn't a single of Kelly Racing's four cars in the first 10, Supercars regular Andre Heimgartner the team's best performer with 12th in his Subaru.

KR Astra drivers Alex Rullo and Chelsea Angelo were next, while Molly Taylor was 16th in the Subaru.

Former Kelly Racing Supercars driver James Moffat (GRM Renault) split the gaggle of KR cars in 15th. will be live streaming every race of the 2019 TCR Australia season free.


Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1  Michael Almond (SA)    Hyundai I30N         1:35.2320*  
2  Nathan Morcom (NSW)    Hyundai I30N         1:35.6911  00.4591
3  John Martin (NSW)      Honda Civic Type R   1:36.1134  00.8814
4  Will Brown (QLD)       Hyundai I30N         1:36.4239  01.1919
5  Rik Breukers (NED)     Audi RS 3            1:36.5154  01.2834
6  Tony D’Alberto (VIC)   Honda Civic Type R   1:36.5492  01.3172
7  Dylan O’Keeffe (VIC)   Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1:36.7369  01.5049
8  Chris Pither (NZ)      Renault Magane RS    1:36.9588  01.7268
9  Jason Bright (VIC)     Volkswagen Golf GTI  1:37.0045  01.7725
10 Jimmy Vernon (NSW)     Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1:37.2344  02.0024
11 Aaron Cameron (VIC)    Volkswagen Golf GTI  1:37.3648  02.1328
12 Andre Heimgartner (NZ) Subaru WRX STI       1:37.7292  02.4972
13 Alex Rullo (WA)        Holden Astra         1:37.8481  02.6161
14 Chelsea Angelo (VIC)   Holden Astra         1:38.3151  03.0831
15 James Moffat (VIC)     Renault Magane RS    1:38.4163  03.1843
16 Molly Taylor (NSW)     Subaru WRX STI       1:38.8608  03.6288
17 Alexandra Whitley (QLD) Volkswagen Golf GTI   1:41.0607   05.8287
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