Dylan O’Keeffe hopes he can return for more races in the FIA World Touring Car Cup, after the Australian finished on the fringes of the top ten in both races.
TCR Australia race winner O’Keeffe entered the weekend’s races at Zolder as a wildcard in the second of Vuković Motorsport’s Renault Mégane RS TCR cars, making his début in World Touring Cars.
Saturday saw O’Keeffe just miss out on progressing to Q2, being just over a second off the pace, but still the best of the two Renault drivers, ahead of team-mate Jack Young.
Although unable to make forward progress in race one, O’Keeffe admitted he was pleased with his result after getting a poor start due to limited visibility of the lights.
“Race one was very exciting for me, and there’s been a lot of anticipation about getting the first race start under way,” said the 22-yearold.
“The start was really difficult because unfortunately I couldn’t see the start line; I sit way too low in the car, so that was a bummer. The rear wings of the cars in front blocked the starting grid lights, so I lost out at the start.
“I had some really good battles – it’s very aggressive in the midfield there – everyone defends for their lives and it’s very hard to make up places.
“Our car was extremely strong in the first five laps but it was too difficult to make up ground.”
Race two saw O’Keeffe finish one place higher in 12th, scoring points for the team once again, although the Australia believes he could have got more stuck in to some of the battles around him.
“In race two I got a pretty good start and I got in the mix for the opening lap. It was a good scramble in the mid-pack.
“A couple of opportunities came up but they were a bit risky to make up a couple of positions. I’m a bit disappointed in myself that I didn’t go for the gap, but at the same time I’m really happy with finishing P12 for my and the team’s first-ever event in WTCR.
“I’m extremely happy for my début and Renault’s début and I hope I can come back and do some more racing with WTCR.
“This is where I want to be, and I want to be here for a full season at some stage. This is my focus and I know I can mix it with the guys.
“It’s only early days, and [considering] our experience compared to everyone else, I think we can do a very good job, so hopefully there’s more to come in the future.”