Dylan O’Keeffe has closed to within 22 points of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series lead after another consistent weekend in Round 4 of the series at Sydney Motorsport Park.
After qualifying his Schaeffler Australia-backed Garry Rogers Motorsport Peugeot 308 in sixth position, a rapid start saw O’Keeffe improving to fourth in Race 1.
“In practice, we were struggling with a lack of grip but we made some positive changes to the car for qualifying,” O’Keeffe said.
“I launched really well and I made up a couple of places on the run into Turn 2. After that, it was a case of keeping my nose clean and capitalising on some dramas for a couple of other competitors.”
With the top 10 starting positions inverted for Race 2, O’Keeffe was relegated to seventh position on the grid. The first lap was frenetic and O’Keeffe survived a couple of close calls with his rivals, eventually slotting into seventh place which he held through to the chequered flag.
“Everyone was very enthusiastic on the first lap, because you can gain a big advantage if you’re aggressive on cold tyres,” O’Keeffe said.
“There were a couple of near misses and once again, I just concentrated on avoiding incidents.”
Grid positions for the third and final race were determined on points from the first two races, with O’Keeffe starting out of sixth. Once again, the first lap was a physical affair but O’Keeffe gained a place, moving up to fifth spot where he ultimately finished.
O’Keeffe’s consistency across the three races saw him finishing fifth overall for the round and moving up to second in the championship.
“This weekend wasn’t spectacular, but it was valuable for my title campaign,” O’Keeffe said.
“With the top 10 reverse-grid format and the points system that punishes DNFs, it’s all about minimising bad results rather than necessarily needing to win a lot of races.
“The car performed consistently this weekend, but we’d like a bit more outright speed to be able to challenge for top three results more regularly, so there’s some work to do before the next round.”
Round 5 of TCR Australia will be held at Queensland Raceway, 5-7 August.
TCR Australia Round 4 Results
Race 1: 4th
Race 2: 7th
Race 3: 5th
TCR Australia – Top 10 Points
- Tony D’Alberto – 410
- Dylan O’Keeffe – 388
- Josh Buchan – 379
- Jordan Cox – 378
- Jay Hanson – 356
- Aaron Cameron – 353
- Nathan Morcom – 349
- Zac Soutar – 347
- Will Brown – 343
- Ben Bargwanna – 325