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Dylan o’keeffe

O’Keeffe: Bathurst Pace Much Better Than Results Showed

Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault Megane RS driver Dylan O’Keeffe said his pace in Round 3 of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series at Bathurst on the weekend was much better than the results indicated.

After setting the third-fastest time in Friday practice, O’Keeffe was confident of a strong result in Saturday morning’s qualifying session. However, his run was spoiled by an inopportune red flag.

“The qualifying session was held first thing in the morning, which meant it was even harder to generate rear tyre temperature than normal,” O’Keeffe said.

“Our strategy was to warm up the front tyres in the first half of the session and put those tyres on the rear in the second half of the session. Unfortunately, the red flag ruined our plans, but I still knew we had a package to fight forward in the races.”

And fight forward O’Keeffe did in Race 1, moving up to sixth position and setting some of the fastest laps of the race as he hunted down the lead pack. Unfortunately, his charge was curtailed when his car’s turbo waste-gate failed, forcing him into retirement.

While the GRM team worked hard to rectify the problem for Race 2, the short turnaround meant they were not able to resolve a related electrical issue and as a result, O’Keeffe started the race from pit lane and fell a lap behind the field; he ultimately finished 18th.

After his tough weekend, O’Keeffe was aiming for a spectacular charge through the field in Race 3. However, his overtaking opportunities were limited by two lengthy Safety Car interventions, which meant there were fewer than four laps of green flag running.

Despite the lack of results, O’Keeffe refused to let the frustrations of the weekend get the better of him.

“Our pace was the best it has been all year, so we’ve clearly made some good progress there,” O’Keeffe said.

“The main annoyance at the moment is the mechanical glitches that keep popping up whenever we’re running in a competitive position. We’ll be making it a priority to solve those issues for the next round.”

Round 4 of the TCR Australia Series will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park, 30 April-2 May.

Supercheap Auto TCR Australia

Round 3 Results

Qualifying: 10th

Race 1: DNF

Race 2: 18th

Race 3: 14th

 

TCR Australia Points

1. Chaz Mostert – 344

2. Aaron Cameron – 281

3. Luke King – 266

4. John Martin – 256

5. Lee Holdsworth – 245

6. Jordan Cox – 240

7. Jason Bargwanna – 222

8. Nathan Morcom – 221

9. Brad Shiels – 211

10. Josh Buchan – 209

15. Dylan O’Keeffe – 159

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