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HMO CUSTOMER RACING BATHURST TCR ROUND SATURDAY

MEDIA RELEASE/HMO Customer Racing – Photos: Velocity Magazine

HMO Customer Racing worked through another difficult day in the 2021 Supercheap Auto TCR Series at the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour event. The team had called their drivers in for fresh tyres as the qualifying session progressed, only to find them stranded at pit exit as red flags brought the session to a premature end with a car beached in the Chase.

SEE ALL OF OUR BATHURST 6HR PHOTOS HERE

Josh Buchan, Duvashen Padayachee and Nathan Morcom found themselves back in the pack for the opening race, with Morcom forced to evade his teammate when Padayachee stalled at the start. The day became a rebuilding process with all three HMO Customer Racing drivers making progress through the field despite a noticeable straight-line speed disadvantage. 

 

Nathan Morcom

Race 1   18th (Best lap 2.17.1263)                       Race 2  14th  (Best lap 2.16.9359)

In qualifying we probably made a judgement error and the red flag came out when we were in the pits. That meant that we didnt get back out there and the session was cut short. It really put us on the back foot for the rest of the weekend. Starting up the back never really helps and then I had to miss Duvashen at the start which left us both at the back of the field. We managed to claw back some ground but our biggest issue is that we dont have the straight-line speed. We are easily losing over a second in the first and last sectors of the lap. Its definitely killing us and all we can do for tomorrow is to stay clean and try to make up some more ground.

Josh Buchan

Race 1   14th (Best lap 2.15.7835)                       Race 2  11th  (Best lap 2.16.1509)

The strategy in qualifying was to go out with green tyres on the front and scrub off the mould release. The stop, put those tyres on the rear and fit another set of greens to the front. That was going to plan and I managed to get out on track. As I came to the Chase to start my flying lap Red flag! My flying lap in qualifying was me on the pit limiter down the pits and 18th for race 1.

We were the 6th quickest car on track, but just not quick enough in the right places. Our overall lap was good but we really struggled on the straights. As soon as anyone was within two car lengths behind they were past as we came into the braking zones. That was really mirrored in the second race. I actually got up to 8th, was a bit wide into turn 1 and four cars drove past up the hill.  I was still quick but found myself stuck behind an Alfa Romeo for the rest of the race. Our single lap speed is excellent, but we cant do anything when the steering wheel is pointing straight. There are still some positives to take from today from a personal perspective; my lap times relative to how much we are losing down the straights  was excellent when compared to Chaz and Garth who are experienced Supercar drivers. Yeah, it just isnt our round.

Duvashen Padayachee

Race 1   21st (Best lap 2.18.5473)                       Race 2  15th  (Best lap 2.17.6118)

We had a good qualifying strategy and were in the pit lane ready to go when the red flag came out. That didnt help and I ended up 16th. I just made a meal of the start in race 1. Id never done a race start in the Hyundai i30 N TCR car and it stalled when I grabbed the clutch. After that I struggled to get it to fire up.

The second race was quite good. I started last and got up to 16th pretty quickly and my pace was much better. Still learning and made a few mistakes from pushing a bit too hard too early. I was on the back of Nathan for a while and my plan is to try to follow him tomorrow. We have no straight-line speed which makes it a bit tricky as the car is quite good across the top of the mountain. The cooler weather tomorrow morning should help but it will also help everyone else as well. 

Scott Fulcher HMO Customer Racing

There are days when things just don’t go your way and you just have to make the best of what you’ve been given and today has been one of the those day. Our qualifying strategy was running to plan then Jordan Cox bunkered himself at the Chase and the session was over with our three cars on new tyres and ready to leave pit exit. Duvashen stalled at the start of the opening race and Nathan was left stranded behind. From that point Josh, Nathan and Duvashen were on a recovery mission throughout the day as they fought to move towards the Top 10. Josh climbed to 9th in race 2 only to find himself swamped on the straights by the faster cars. Our three drivers have done a stellar job in view of the circumstances.

We knew that Bathurst wasn’t going to be the ideal circuit for our Hyundai i30 N TCR cars, but to be a second slower in sectors 1 and 3 due to a distinct lack of straight-line speed is disheartening. The Hyundai itself is not the problem, the i30 N TCR is a brilliant piece of machinery and the heaviest car in the field without BOP or success ballast. The fact is the engine is restricted to 97% while other cars in the field are allowed to run at 102%. Both Nathan and Josh received 40kg and 20kg of weight respectively for Bathurst which has made things basically impossible.

We need a parity adjustment. To be quite frank, there really is no point in us coming back for the Bathurst International in November unless something is done.”

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