2019 TCR Australia Round 3.rThe Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend, South Australia, Australia.rFriday 12th June to Sunday 14th June 2019.rWorld Copyright: Daniel Kalisz PhotographerrRef: Digital Image DK1D3133.CR2

Dylan o’keeffe

O’Keeffe and ASM Upbeat Despite Difficult Bend Weekend

Dylan O’Keeffe and the Ashley Seward Motorsport team have left The Bend Motorsport Park upbeat about the performance of their Alfa Romeo Guilietta, despite enduring the toughest round of their TCR Australia campaign to date.

The weekend started with wet conditions for practice and qualifying, and O’Keeffe was among the fastest drivers when the conditions were at their worst – he qualified in third position.

Race 1 was held on a damp but drying circuit, and the ASM team played the long game, adopting a car setup that prioritised late-race performance. O’Keeffe set the fastest lap of the race as he hunted down the cars in front, only for a turbo boost problem to prematurely end his day.

“As the track dried out, I was quickly catching the cars ahead, so our strategy was going to work brilliantly,” O’Keeffe said.

“Unfortunately we had the turbo drama, and as I was heading back into the pits, I got collected by another car and also set off the on-board fire extinguisher, which left the boys with a fair bit of repair work.”

Starting at the back of the grid for Race 2, O’Keeffe’s opportunities to progress through the field were limited by a pair of Safety Car interventions, but he still finished 10th.

“There were quite a few incidents, and we didn’t get many laps of green running so we weren’t able to fully exploit our speed and tyre conservation,” he said.

O’Keeffe worked his way up to seventh in Race 3, but was handed a post-race penalty for contact with another driver, which relegated him to 11th. Nevertheless, he said it was the most enjoyable race of the weekend.

“Race 3 was really fun, and good to have some wheel-to-wheel racing with other cars,” he said.

“Our lap-times were good, but the Alfa’s main strengths were not in sections of the track where I could overtake, so it was difficult to make up positions.”

The 21-year-old said the ASM team can be proud of their efforts.

“The race results may not have showed it, but we had one of the fastest cars this weekend,” he said.

“We had the fastest lap in Race 1, and the second-fastest lap in Race 3. After the recent setbacks we’ve endured with the crash at Phillip Island and our mechanical problems on Saturday, Ash and the crew have done an amazing job to keep giving me such a fast car.”

O’Keeffe has remained in the top three in the series standings; the next round will be held at Queensland Raceway, 2-4 August.

Round Results Summary

Qualifying: 3rd

Race 1: DNF

Race 2: 10th

Race 3: 11th

Overall: 12th

Top 10 Points – After Round 3

1. Will Brown – 356

2. James Moffat – 229

3. Dylan O’Keeffe – 227

4. Tony D’Alberto – 213

5. Nathan Morcom – 208

6. Aaron Cameron – 183

7. John Martin – 181

8. Garth Tander – 176

9. Alex Rullo – 157

10. Chris Pither – 148

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