Tony D’Alberto claims pole for inaugural TCR Australia race

Tony D’Alberto claims pole for inaugural TCR Australia race

Tony D'Alberto
Photo: TCR Australia / Daniel Kalisz

Tony D’Alberto secured pole position for the inaugural TCR Australia race at Sydney Motorsport Park, putting his Wall Racing Honda on top of the times ahead of Jason Bright’s Alliance Autosport Volkswagen.

D’Alberto put in a fast lap in the closing minutes of the session to snatch pole for the first-ever race from Bright’s clutches, ending up with the top time by a margin of a tenth and a half of a second.

“We had to put another set of tyres on at the end there,” explained D’Alberto. “We just didn’t maximise the start – we had a couple of problems with the car that hurt our run early on, and so I needed to have another go at the end.

“I’m absolutely stoked with Wall Racing, Honda and everybody involved to get us here today, so it’s really good.”

Dylan O’Keefee put his Ashley Seward Motorsport-run Alfa Romeo on the second row of the grid with third, a further tenth back, ahead of the leading Hyundai of HMO Customer Racing’s Will Brown in fourth.

Friday’s first practice pace-setter Michael Almond was fifth in his GWR Hyundai, over half a second back in the 30-minute qualifying session, ahead of the second Wall Racing Honda of John Martin in sixth.

Nathan Morcom made sure all three Hyundais featured inside the top ten in seventh, whilst Dutchman Rik Breukers put his Audi RS3 in eighth as the only European in the field.

Kelly Racing’s Andre Heimgartner and GRM’s Jimmy Vernon completed the top ten in their Subaru and Alfa Romeos respectively.

James Moffat had initially secured tenth on the grid in his Renault Mégane, but the GRM driver had his best lap disallowed as he had spun off the circuit earlier in the session and caused a red flag stoppage. Moffat then had another spin later on in the session.

The times were propped up by the female racers, with Kelly Racing’s Chelsea Angelo the best of the trio in 15th in her Holden Astra TCR, over three seconds off the pace.

The first race of the TCR Australia season is scheduled to get underway at 14:10 local time (06:10 CEST, 05:10 BST).

Qualifying result

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 50 Tony D’ALBERTO Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR 13 1:34.144 0.000
2 8 Jason BRIGHT Taskforce / Alliance Autosport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 1:34.295 0.151
3 9 Dylan O’KEEFFE Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 9 1:34.401 0.257
4 30 Will BROWN HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 1:34.630 0.486
5 29 Michael ALMOND Astron Tech / GWR Australia Hyundai i30 N TCR 12 1:34.715 0.571
6 24 John MARTIN Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR 9 1:34.725 0.581
7 11 Nathan MORCOM HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 1:34.749 0.605
8 22 Rik BREUKERS TCR SPA 500 / Melbourne Performance Audi RS3 LMS TCR 9 1:34.857 0.713
9 777 Andre HEIMGARTNER Kelly Racing Subaru WRX STi 7 1:35.011 0.867
10 7 Jimmy VERNON Garry Rogers Motorsport Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 12 1:35.318 1.174
11 16 Aaron CAMERON Melbourne Performance Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 1:35.435 1.291
12 34 James MOFFAT Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR 10 1:35.918 1.774
13 33 Chris PITHER Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR 13 1:35.985 1.841
14 62 Alex RULLO Kelly Racing Holden Astra TCR 7 1:36.068 1.924
15 37 Chelsea ANGELO Kelly Racing Holden Astra TCR 12 1:37.360 3.216
16 6 Molly TAYLOR Kelly Racing Subaru WRX STi 10 1:37.457 3.313
17 35 Alexandra WHITLEY Alliance Autosport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 15 1:37.796 3.652