TCR / 13 November 2023
Three wins and three poles for Civic Type R TCR
TCR Australia/TCR World Tour
Tony D'Alberto was the star of the weekend on what was only the 2022 series champion's second event aboard the new FL5 Civic.
Qualifying on pole position - ahead of all the TCR World Tour regulars - on the Mount Panorama circuit, the Honda Wall Racing driver lost positions at the start of Race One but finished a strong third overall and best of the Australia entries.
He then added second in class on Sunday morning before going top of the Australia pile in the finale to complete a double win that elevated him from fourth to second in the points.
Team-mate Nestor Girolami - one of nine TCR World Tour drivers in action - broke the lap record in Race Three and finished second in the opener; the Argentinian moving forwards after qualifying sixth. He was sixth in the finale and ninth in the reversed-grid race.
Brad Harris was 10th in TCR Australia in Race One but retired with illness during Race Two and did not start the finale. Brother Will withdrew after practice after aggravating a pre-existing rib injury.
TCR Asia Challenge
Shaun Thong brilliantly qualified on pole position on the streets of Macau and then turned a reversed-grid fifth-row start into an even more impressive victory.
The Team TRC driver started Race Two from 10th place but was fifth by the infamous Lisboa bend on the opening lap. He then systematically made his way forwards and was in front by half-distance of a race that ended early due to an incident-induced red flag.
Thong retired from a damp, but drying, opening race after contact while lapping a backmarker led to a front-right puncture. Despite this, his results made him one of the top eight scorers of the event, giving him an entry to this weekend's Guia Race.
His team-mate James Tang was sixth and eighth to also secure a Guia Race entry. 109 Racing's Baowei Deng was 11th and 12th while 778 Auto Sport's Hanbiao Zhang was 14th in Race One and team-mate Kin Veng Ng was 15th in Race Two.
Zhengwei Ou Yang (Starcars Racing) and Chin Pang Lim (Norris Racing) did not start in the morning following incidents in qualifying and practice.
JAS Motorsport Development Driver Scott Sumpton enjoyed the best weekend of his TCR career on what was not only his Spanish series debut at Jerez, but also his first time racing the latest FL5 Civic.
Sumpton qualified a superb second and finished third; a legacy of an excellent late-braking move at the Dani Pedrosa hairpin on the opening lap, aboard his car, which was entered by ALM Motorsport and run in partnership with Restart Racing.
He dropped to 12th at the start of Race Two, but fought back as high as fifth before a gravelly excursion lost him further time. He recovered to seventh by the flag.
The Japanese endurance series concluded at Fuji with a five-hour race with Civics again dominating the ST-TCR class in qualifying.
Recently-crowned class champions M&K Racing scored their fourth pole position in a row thanks to regular drivers Shinji Nakano and Mitsuhiro Endo - who were joined last weekend by Super GT racer Takashi Kobayashi in their FL5 Civic.
AI Racing's Shion Tsujimoto, Kazuhiro Sakai and Masaki Fujii started second in their FK7 Civic, but both cars retired in the final 90 minutes; AI securing second place in the points as a result.
KCMG ended their maiden season in the fastest ST-X class with another solid points finish with their NSX GT3 Evo 22 with Paul Ip, Marchy Lee and Ho-Pin Tung taking sixth place.