Tom Oliphant Closes TCR Australia Campaign With Bathurst Adventure
Tom Oliphant has ended his maiden season in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series as the 2023 rookie champion after a battling performance during the much-anticipated final weekend of racing at Bathurst (10-12 November).
The world-famous Mount Panorama Circuit was a fitting venue to conclude Oliphant’s first season racing in Australia, with the two-time British Touring Car Championship race-winner making his mark with some standout performances down under en-route to the rookie class title.
Joining the grid with leading team Autoglym Ashley Seward Motorsport, Oliphant secured a brilliant first race win in their Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR at Winton back in June, before putting in some great performances in their Lynk & Co 03 TCR.
Oliphant particularly impressed last time out at Sydney Motorsport Park as TCR Australia shared the grid with the TCR World Tour for the first time, securing a hat-trick of class top five finishes and producing a stunning charge from 23rd on the grid to seventh overall.
The TCR World Tour stars were in town once again for a sensational finale event at Bathurst. Unfortunately, this time it was a tougher weekend for Oliphant in his Lynk & Co, with their car not being suited to the unique characteristics of the 3.86-mile circuit.
The 33-year-old racer continued to gain speed and confidence between the narrow walls every time he took to the track, however intermittent mechanical issues through the three races meant that he could only come away with a best result of 15th in the final encounter.
Tom Oliphant: “It’s frustrating to end the season with a disappointing performance at Bathurst. Our car didn’t suit the circuit, with less power than others on the long straights affecting us, which meant we were playing catch up from the start on Friday.
“The Ashley Seward Motorsport team kept making big steps forward with the car, but sadly some technical issues out of their control meant the races were a struggle. It’s a shame to have not been near the front of the field, but it’s still been a phenomenal experience racing a touring car on Mount Panorama for the first time.
“Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my first season racing in TCR Australia. It’s been a steep learning curve for me, adapting to a new car, a new championship and new circuits every weekend, but I’m proud of the progress we have made and some of the performances we’ve put in.
“The win at Winton was obviously the highlight of the season and a fantastic result, while our all-round performance at Sydney was hugely positive. The rookie title is the icing on the cake, while all the knowledge and experience I’ve gained is a great platform to build on for 2024.
“Thank you to everyone at Ashley Seward Motorsport and Autoglym for the opportunity to get back racing this season, as well as to my personal partners WIN News, i98 FM, Waples and G.J. Gardner for their fantastic support. Thank you to the team at TCR Australia too for putting on a great championship.”
Image from Ashley Seward Motorsport.