Hyundai looks to continue TCR Australia winning streak at Winton Motor Raceway.

06 June, 2023

  • Hyundai driver Bailey Sweeny continues to lead the TCR Australia Driver’s Championship heading into round three at Winton Motor Raceway
  • Josh Buchan dominated round two at Phillip Island with pole position and two race wins for the new-generation Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR
  • Based on his success in the presence round, Buchan is now the highest placed Australian driver in the TCR World Rankings (29th position)

Hyundai is hoping to maintain its winning ways in the TCR Australia Championship as the third round of the series will be held at Winton Motor Raceway in rural Victoria this weekend.

HMO Customer Racing has won all four of the non-reverse grid races so far this year, with Bailey Sweeny scoring a double victory in the opening round at Symmons Plains in Tasmania and Josh Buchan taking the breakthrough first pole position and two race wins for the new-generation Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR at Phillip Island last month.

As a result, Sweeny extended his lead in the 2023 TCR Australia Championship while Buchan climbed to fourth on the drivers’ standings and is now the highest placed Australian driver in the TCR World Rankings in 29th position.

“It was a great confidence boost for the whole team with the first race wins for the Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR at Phillip Island,” said Buchan.

“I think back to when I first started racing in TCR and I managed to take my first win in the fourth round, and we were jumping for joy. Now, even though we’ve accelerated that process by winning with the new car at only its third round, we still have our feet on the ground and immediately set our focus forward to ensuring we maintain that position as we head to Winton this weekend.

“That’s a sign that our expectations are greater this year.”

The tight and twisty nature of the 3.0km Winton Motor Raceway, located near Benalla in central Victoria, presents a totally different set of demands on the cars and drivers compared to the fast and flowing Phillip Island circuit.

Buchan isn’t underestimating the challenge ahead of him either, as he will be carrying 40kg of success ballast as a result of qualifying on pole position at Phillip Island.

“Qualifying will be extremely important for us this weekend, but I’m confident we will have a good race car,” he added.

Despite never have raced at Winton before, Sweeny believes he can maintain his front-running form and defend his championship lead this weekend, knowing that his Hyundai i30 N TCR has race-winning pedigree at the circuit.

HMO Customer Racing scored pole position and two race victories with Will Brown in the only previous TCR Australia Championship event to be held at Winton, in 2019.

HMO Customer Racing will have two 30 minute practice sessions on Friday to fine tune the cars ahead of qualifying on Saturday before three races over the remainder of the weekend.

Fans can catch all the action from Winton and the Motorsport Australia Shannons Speed Series live and on-demand via Stan Sport.

What the drivers said:

Car 30: i30 Sedan N TCR - Josh Buchan

“Even though I’ve never raced in TCR at Winton, it is a track we are no stranger to as it was the circuit where we first tested the Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR, and I have driven plenty of laps around the place.

“It’s certainly not the most ideal track to be carrying the maximum weight penalty, as it is very narrow and technical. For us, that places a huge emphasis on qualifying and - wherever we end up - I’m sure I’ll need to get the elbows out to either attack or defend. In saying that, I’m confident we have a great race car, and we have to consolidate our position with a clean weekend.

“I’m not carried away with the championship positions just yet. I know some of my rivals will have a point to prove this weekend, but I’ll be happy to stay out of trouble and play in the slips if there’s chaos around me.”

Car 130: i30 N TCR - Bailey Sweeny

“I’ve never actually raced at Winton before, but I’ve done plenty of laps around there so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it this weekend. It’s a great track where you have to be really aggressive, and where thousandths of a second can make a massive difference in qualifying. It’s going to be really tight in qualifying; a bit like Symmons Plains, which we won.

“I know the car and the team have the speed to win, as they did with Will Brown in 2019, so I’m confident we have the package to be competitive. The only variable will be the weather, which places an unknown element of jeopardy. I’m obviously hoping it is dry. But I’m 100 percent prepared to get the elbows out and defend my position at the top of the championship standings.”

Driver Information

  Josh Buchan     Bailey Sweeny  
  Born     22/01/1995 (28)     07/02/2003 (20)  
  Car     Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR     Hyundai i30 N TCR  
  Number     30     130  
  TCR Season competed     2021 & 2022     2022  
  TCR Poles     2     0  
  TCR Podiums     11     7  
  TCR Wins     5     4  
  TCR World Ranking     29     39  

2023 TCR Australia Championship Standings

  Position     Name     Car     Points  
  1     Bailey Sweeny     Hyundai i30 N TCR     252  
  2     Jordan Cox     Peugeot 308 TCR     230  
  3     Aaron Cameron     Peugeot 308 TCR     229 
  4     Josh Buchan     Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR     224  
  5     Michael Clemente     Audi RS3 LMS     214  
  6     Ben Bargwanna     Peugeot 308 TCR     198  
  7     Lachlan Minneef     Audi RS3 LMS     196  
  8     Kody Garland     Peugeot 308 TCR     186  
  9     Tony D’Alberto     Honda Civic Type R     171  
  10     Tom Oliphant     Lynk & Co. 03     164  

Round 3: Winton Motor Raceway

  Track Facts  
  Location     Benalla, Victoria  
  Length     3.000 km  
  TCR Pole Record     1:24.0981 sec, Will Brown (i30 N TCR) - 2019  
  TCR Lap Record     1:24.3720 sec, Will Brown (i30 N TCR) - 2019  

TCR Schedule - Round 3: Winton Motor Raceway

  Friday May 12     Saturday May 13     Sunday May 14  
  Practice 1: 12:10pm     Qualifying: 11:35am     Race 2: 11:30am  
  Practice 2: 3:25pm     Race 1: 4:15pm     Race 3: 4:15pm