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HomeNewsGRM driver trades stick for paddle shift

GRM driver trades stick for paddle shift

THERE will be a key change for Kody Garland to come to grips with as he switches marques for the 2023 TCR Australia Series.

Garland is back for a second season with Garry Rogers Motorsport but this time around will be behind the wheel of a Peugeot 308 TCR.

The 22-year-old endured a horror first year aboard a Renault Megane, finishing 19th in the standings and with easily the lowest points tally of all drivers that contested the full season.

Garland was a late addition to GRM’s 2022 roster after participating in the team’s Combine program but his campaign never really recovered from a damaging crash in the opening practice session of the season.

He’s hopeful that switching from Renault – the only TCR Australia model which uses a sequential gearstick – to the more user-friendly Peugeot will help facilitate an upswing in results.

“It was great last year to have James Moffat on the other side of the Renault garage as a benchmark for me,” said Garland.

“Given the tight set-up window of the Renault it was good to compare against Moffat and match his pace throughout the year.

Garland in action at the Bathurst International. Pic: Australian Racing Group

“GRM has enjoyed great success in the Peugeots over the last few years and the team has an intrinsic understanding of how the 308 operates, so I’m really excited to get behind the wheel and prove myself as a regular contender for the win.

“It will take a bit of getting used to, but fortunately I got to drive the Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR quite recently at the GRM Combine so I have a bit of a head start on what the paddle shift feels like.

“The Peugeot also has a smaller wheelbase than the Renault, so I’m expecting it to be a bit nimbler.

“I’m looking forward to our pre-season test where I’ll be able to get some valuable laps behind the wheel and get a solid understanding of the Peugeot’s unique aspects ahead of the season-opener at Race Tasmania.”

Garland is the first driver to be confirmed by GRM for 2023.

He follows Zac Soutar and likely Michael Clemente in completing off-season changes of machinery.

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