Hyundai is aiming to retain its lead in the 2023 TCR Australia Championship as HMO Customer Racing heads to the iconic Phillip Island circuit this weekend for the second round of the series.
Sophomore sensation Bailey Sweeny sits atop of the standings after dominating the opening round at Symmons Plains in Tasmania earlier this year, taking two race victories and setting the fastest lap in his Hyundai i30 N TCR, while teammate Josh Buchan battled mechanical issues in his Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR and arrives at Phillip Island in eighth position.
HMO Customer Racing have worked closely with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing in Germany over the last six weeks to better understand the unique set-up requirements of the new generation i30 Sedan N, which currently leads the TCR World Tour after recently taking victory in the opening round at Portimao in Portugal.
Buchan believes the fast and flowing nature of the picturesque seaside circuit will naturally showcase the strengths of the sleek four-door machinery and is confident he can be a genuine front-running contender at Phillip Island to claw back into title contention.
“Phillip Island is more like a traditional European circuit, and we know the i30 Sedan N TCR is already a winning package from its continued success in the TCR World Tour,” said the 28-year-old Hyundai Australia supported driver.
“Tassie was tough on my side of the garage, but we’ve done a lot of work since then to better understand and prepare the car for Phillip Island. And I’m looking forward to rewarding the team with a return to the front this weekend.”
For Sweeny, the 20-year-old from Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast is aiming to defend his title lead, despite carrying a 30kg penalty at Phillip Island for his Symmons Plains success.
Sweeny is confident that recent adjustments to the Balance of Performance restrictions placed on the Hyundai i30 N TCR, which now allow it to run a lower ride height and a reduction in the minimum weight, will counteract any deficit imposed by the success ballast.
HMO Customer Racing will have two 30min practice sessions on Friday to fine tune the cars ahead of qualifying on Saturday before three 16-lap races over the remainder of the weekend.
Fans can catch all the action from Phillip Island and the Motorsport Australia Shannons Speed Series live and on-demand via Stan Sport.