JOSH Buchan’s fine start to his TCR Australia title defence at Sandown came despite a hiccup during pre-season preparations.
Buchan left the 2024 season-opener just two points off early series leader Ben Bargwanna, after taking results of second, sixth and second.
All that came in an older-specification HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30N hatch, as opposed to the new-spec sedan Buchan was due to be racing.
The reason? It boils down to a malfunction encountered during a recent test day at Sydney Motorsport Park.
“Effectively in testing we had a slight niggle with the car, in the motor, and we haven’t yet received basically some spares – so if something happened at the track to those components, we would be in trouble,” Buchan explained to V8 Sleuth.
“The decision was made to run the old-spec car purely out of potential.
“We know what TCR is like, we know how hard somewhere like a Sandown, let alone TCR in general, is on the cars.
“It wasn’t worth running the risk of potentially having a shortcoming.
“We’re not in that game. We’re here to win the championship; we’re not here to shake trees and hope for a result.
“The sedan will be back very, very soon.”
Nevertheless, it was a “rock solid” Round 1 for Buchan aboard the ex-Bailey Sweeny hatch.
“The starts cost me and then I kind of blew the tyres off it in the first race trying to hang on and then in the third race I had some kind of fuel pressure issue at the end,” Buchan reflected.
“I don’t think I had anything for mini Bargs, but it would have been nice to see how much nerve he had right at the end. But he did a great job.”
Symmons Plains will host Round 2 on March 15-17.