ARL - TCR Winter Series 2019/20 R9 Philip Island
Last week’s ARLTC took place in Australia at the Phillip Island circuit for the penultimate rounds of the main season.
Ash Sutton showed his incredible pace once again, establishing an impressive +0.3s margin separating him from the rest of the pack. Behind was much tighter however with 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed drivers all within 0.033s!
It’s also worth mentioning an impressive qualifying for the top two AM drivers. Rich Warmingham and David Van Broeck showing some fantastic pace to actually place 5th and 6th on the grid and just over +0.5s away from pole.
That was the end of Sutton’s good fortunes however, as he immediately dropped back to 3rd off the line, swamped by CQR Club teammate David Baker and XVR Sim-Racing‘s Nicol Foggie. But that wasn’t all, as he ran wide into the hairpin which dropped him into the melee of the mid-pack, eventually getting chewed up and spat out into the tyre barriers at T5.
Back up at the front a titanic battle was brewing between the likes of Foggie, Baker and reigning champ Wojciech Swirydowicz who was enjoying a welcome return to the front of the pack.
Foggie dropped back into 3rd place in the early laps and conserved his tyres while Baker and Woj scrapped for the lead. Eventually Woj made a move around the outside of T1, and left Baker hung out to dry in T2 allowing Foggie to slip through on the inside.
The pair swapped positions over the coming laps until Woj made a mistake from the lead on the penultimate lap exiting T6. A wheel on the grass was enough to kill his momentum and allowed Foggie the chance to seal the deal. With just 1 lap left there was no time for Woj to recover and he settled for 2nd place.
Warmingham and Van Broeck held onto the leaders nicely, with just Jack Sedgwick able to pass them both, and Ross MacFarlane passing Van Broeck for the duration. That earnt them 5th and 7th overall respectively and the all important AM victory for Warmingham.
Race 2 looked to be all sewn up for Sven Glatzel, who drove into a commanding lead from pole position. However cold tyres got the better of him on the 2nd lap into the hairpin and set the race alight!
Glatzel dropped back to 5th behind fast-starting George Simmons, and the pair set to chasing down what was now a 3-car fight for the lead between BoosTED Motorsport‘s Simon Field, Adam Hedgecock and Team MAD’s Miguel Freitas.
Slowly the two BoosTED drivers dropped back, although their early race heroics were enough to comfortably secure them the AM 1-2, Simon Field bagging his first AM victory of the year
Eventually Glatzel made his way back to the front and once again extended a handy lead. However with 4 laps to go Simmons made it past Freitas for 2nd place and the chase was on!
Into the hairpin for the final time Simmons made a chancy move up the inside. Glatzel saw him coming and closed the door, but contact was made and Simmons gained advantage. He let Glatzel back past and the pair continued, however the chasing pack were now right behind!
Over lukey heights for the final time Glatzel made another mistake and ran in too deep under braking. Simmons drew alongside and despite having to run around the outside line, he managed to hold the advantage and wrap up his first win of the season!
Another big reverse grid for the final race of the night saw the return of Wojciech Swirydowicz to the top step of the podium. From 10th on the grid he chopped to the front by the end of lap 1 and never looked back, leading with a comfortable 6s margin by the end.
The rest of the race was much more interesting however with Jack Sedgwick & Nicol Foggie also making fine drives through the pack, albeit from much further back having started in 31st and 27th position respectively.
They were however split by Russell Rusty Laidler who kept in touch with Woj until the PRO’s hunted him down with just one lap to go. Only Sedgwick managed to get through before the checkered, allowing Rusty to stand on the podium once again while collecting another AM victory.