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Segunda, 05 Agosto 2019 09:01 | Actualizado em Quarta, 05 Agosto 2020 08:23

Alfa Romeo and Honda set the pace on opening day at Queensland Raceway 

Alfa Romeo driver Dylan O’Keeffe and Honda’s John Martin have set the benchmark times in the opening day of practice at Queensland Raceway for Round 4 of the carsales TCR Australia Series today.

Dylan O’Keeffe set the fastest time in Practice 1, and after a difficult round at The Bend Motorsport Park, the Alfa Romeo driver is keen to re-boot his title challenge.

He lapped his Alfa Romeo Giulietta in 1m14.0776s to finish 0.4s ahead of series leader Will Brown in a Hyundai i30 N, with French raider Jean Karl Vernay third in an Audi RS3.

In Practice 2, O’Keeffe was second behind John Martin, while O’Keeffe claimed he was on a lap that would have seen him retain the top spot, only for a mistake at the final turn sending him into the gravel.

Despite battling tail-end slides in his Civic Type R, Martin had the speed to claim the top spot. His margin was just 0.0978s as he lapped in 1m13.9201s, undercutting O’Keefe’s benchmark lap from the opening practice session.

International TCR guest racer Vernay was third in both sessions, adapting quickly to a new car, circuit and time zone, having only arrived in Queensland yesterday afternoon.

Brown was second and fourth in the two sessions, proving that he will be in the mix again.

Castrol Audi driver Russell Ingall had an interesting day, enduring a high-speed spin in Practice 1 before bouncing back to be sixth in the second session.

Qualifying will be held at 10:20am AEST tomorrow, followed by Race 1 at 2:15pm. Racing can be seen live, free and in HD on SBS, or live stream on the TCR Australia website.

The #9 Alfa Romeo of Dylan O'Keeffe at Queensland Raceway. Click on image for high-resolution image options.


John Martin
Driver, #24 Wall Racing Honda

“We had a few issues in the first practice session but the boys worked really hard to fix them up for session two. It ended up being a pretty good day,” said John Martin.

“We’ll have to wait for tomorrow to see where we are. We’ve been in the top five for practice for most of the year, but Tailem Bend was really good with the victory. 

“Things are starting to click and steps are going in the right direction for our Hondas.”

Dylan O'Keeffe
Driver, #9 Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo

“It’s a fantastic opening day for us at Queensland Raceway. It has rolled out of the truck perfectly,” said Dylan O'Keeffe.

“We are still trying to make changes to the car because you should never stand still, otherwise, everyone will catch up to you. 

“We probably went the wrong way with set-up in Practice 2. The car was quick but very hard to drive, and we had a moment and went off at the last turn and into the gravel. At least we know the car has potential for tomorrow.” 

Jean Karl Vernay
Driver, #4 Melbourne Performance Centre Audi

“It was a good start. Obviously this level is very high. There are some top guns of the V8 Supercars here, so I came here with a lot of respect,” said Jean Karl Vernay.

“I had to learn the track. There’s not many corners to this track, but it is pretty difficult and bumpy and technical. There’s long corners, heavy braking, kerbs you can’t touch and kerbs you have to avoid. It’s not that easy and you need experience, but my team and engineer are making progress, so now the things is to get ready for tomorrow.”

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