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HomeNewsD'Alberto raring to take on TCR's world-best

D’Alberto raring to take on TCR’s world-best

TCR Australia’s newest title winner Tony D’Alberto is intrigued by the opportunity which the world tour component will bring to the 2023 series.

Bathurst and one other Australian round next year will be incorporated into the inaugural TCR World Tour.

Some of the finer details of that concept are still emerging, but D’Alberto is keen to test himself on home turf against the world’s best.

“I think it will be interesting,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“I’m not really across how it’s all going to work but to have two rounds where you’re going to have some leading TCR drivers here and be racing against them I think adds a lot of interest and I think you’ll get a lot of eyeballs watching those events.

“It does spice it up. The last few years we’ve been building the category and trying to get a fanbase and a following and it’s good to see them thinking outside the box and doing something new with the championship next year, I think that will keep it exciting.

“It will also be a very good yardstick for everybody in TCR to see where they sit, whether or not we’re doing as good a job as we think we are.

“But we had Teddy (Clairet of France) come out over the weekend and he was competitive but he didn’t wipe the floor with it either so I think that shows that the drivers are at a very good level here in Australia.”

D’Alberto, who opened up on a thrilling title decider last weekend at Bathurst via the latest Castrol Motorsport News podcast, is hopeful he and Honda will be back in 2023 to vie for successive titles – especially with a new model on the way.

Jay Hanson (Audi) and Josh Buchan (Hyundai) debuted new cars this year, the former’s updated weapon proving especially eye-catching.

“Clearly the new cars are that bit better,” said D’Alberto.

“Jay has shown that with the new Audi in particular, that thing has been an absolute rocket all year, he’s arguably been the fastest package all year.

“I think with other manufacturers, if there’s going to be other cars of the new generation coming in, you have to be in a new car to try to compete with them.

“We’re hearing really good things about the new Honda.

“Probably the worst bit is it’s probably not going to be here for the start of the year so you have to start the year in the current car and then swap over, which isn’t the end of the world, but you’d like to start the year with a new car and really give the year a big crack.

“We’ll just have to see what happens. I don’t know just yet what Honda are thinking, whether they have got the budget to do it, we’ll just have to wait and see I guess.”

D’Alberto ultimately hung on by a mere two points to prevent 2019 champion Will Brown from pulling off a stunning come-from-behind title triumph.

The only other driver to have achieved the feat to date is Chaz Mostert.

For an extended interview with D’Alberto on how he felt “helpless” as the Bathurst decider almost got away from him, tune into this week’s Castrol Motorsport News episode (accessible above).

D’Alberto. Pic: Australian Racing Group
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