Melbourne Performance Centre’s Garth Tander secured a convincing pole position in qualifying for the TCR Asia Pacific Cup on the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, beating GRM’s Michael Caruso by more than half a second.
The former Supercars racer has previous experience of racing on the GP circuit in racing in support series in previous years, and the 42-year-old put that knowledge to good use as he comfortably posted the best time on Thursday.
Tander, along with Caruso, only made it to the top of the timesheets in the closing minutes, with Tander posting two best laps in quick succession.
Nathan Morcom made it three different brands in the top three places as he put his Hyundai in third, just ahead of HMO team-mate and reigning champion Will Brown in fourth. The duo had earlier dominated the free practice sessions but couldn’t quite replicate the same form in qualifying.
GRM’s James Moffat put his Renault in fifth, just over a second off the pace, ahead of his team-mate in the leading Peugeot of Aaron Cameron in sixth.
Julien Briché was the best of the international drivers in seventh, putting his Peugeot just under half a second off the pace on his first outing at the Melbourne circuit.
Ashley Seward Motorsport’s James Allen was eighth in his Alfa Romeo, whilst the top ten was completed by Dutchman Stan van Oord and Dylan O’Keeffe in their Audi and Renault cars respectively.
The first of three races will take place at 09:40 local time on Friday (22:40 GMT, 23:40 CET on Thursday night).
|1||75||Garth TANDER||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||8||2:04.3614|
|2||7||Michael CARUSO||Valvoline Racing GRM||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||8||2:04.8625||0.5011|
|3||11||Nathan MORCOM||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||7||2:05.0242||0.6628|
|4||1||Will BROWN||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30 N TCR||8||2:05.0834||0.7220|
|5||34||James MOFFAT||Renault Sport GRM||Renault Mégane RS TCR||8||2:05.4133||1.0519|
|6||18||Aaron CAMERON||Team Valvoline GRM||Peugeot 308 TCR||8||2:05.7076||1.3462|
|7||308||Julien BRICHÉ||Peugeot Sport GRM Customer Racing||Peugeot 308 TCR||8||2:05.7643||1.4029|
|8||10||James ALLEN||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||9||2:05.8444||1.4830|
|9||77||Stan VAN OORD||Track Tec Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||8||2:05.9596||1.5982|
|10||33||Dylan O’KEEFFE||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Mégane RS TCR||7||2:06.0054||1.6440|
|11||110||Zac SOUTAR||Team Soutar Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||6||2:06.0593||1.6979|
|12||15||Michael CLEMENTE||Wurth||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||2:06.1227||1.7613|
|13||17||Jason BARGWANNA||Burson Auto Parts Racing||Peugeot 308 TCR||8||2:06.2720||1.9106|
|14||9||Jay HANSON||Ashley Seward Motorsport / AWC||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||9||2:06.7576||2.3962|
|15||51||Takuya SHIRASAKA||KCMG Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||8||2:06.7612||2.3998|
|16||100||Hamish RIBARITS||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||2:06.8045||2.4431|
|17||2||Chelsea ANGELO||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||8||2:07.0195||2.6581|
|18||777||Declan FRASER||Milldun Motorsport||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||8||2:07.5142||3.1528|
|19||97||Liam MCADAM||Varta Batteries||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||7||2:07.8918||3.5304|
|20||22||Jack MILLIGAN||Track Tec Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||2:08.0381||3.6767|
|21||35||Alexandra WHITLEY||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||7||2:08.2245||3.8631|
|22||49||René MÜNNICH||ALL-INKL.COM Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||7||2:08.9870||4.6256|