Renowned gamer joins TCR Australia field
Former GT Academy winner Matt Simmons will return to real-life competition this weekend after landing a TCR Australia ride in a Subaru.
The gamer-turned-racer will drive one of the two TCR-spec WRXs that recently moved from Kelly Racing to Milldun Motorsport at the season finale at The Bend.
Simmons was thrust onto the world GT stage after winning the GT Academy in 2015, which led to two Blancpain Endurance seasons as a factory-backed Nissan driver.
He hasn't raced a real car since that Nissan deal ended after the 2017 season, this weekend set to mark the Aussie's first race on home soil.
Simmons tested the WRX at Winton recently, and will have his first taste of The Bend on Friday.
“It’s exciting to get my first chance to race in the TCR Australia Series, and a great chance to get back into the driver’s seat,” said .
“TCR has proved to be really exciting, diverse class of racing. There are some extremely good drivers and teams in the field, and it is already regarded as one of the fiercest competitions n Australia.
“I definitely need to pay a big thank you to Milldun Motorsport for the opportunity in the Subaru. The team was great at the test, we all learnt a lot and I feel that they have really turned a corner in these cars.
“It’s also my first chance to race on Australian soil. This is something that I’ve always wanted to do and it’s great that I’ll get to tick this box.
“The Subarus are really fun and very rewarding to drive when you get it right. On the test day, we went through a solid programme and we were able to have a positive day. Milldun Motorsport has done a great job with these cars, and I feel that their hard work will pay off in the near future.”
The second Milldun Subaru will be driven by experienced racer Barton Mawer, who will also pilot the team's S5000 entry.
In other TCR Australia news, Ash Seward Motorsport will expand to two Alfa Romeos for The Bend.
Regular driver Dylan O'Keeffe will be joined by Perth-born James Allen, the 23-year-old best known for his Formula Renault and European Le Mans Series exploits overseas.
“This is the first front-wheel-drive car that I’ve raced, and probably the heaviest race car I’ve ever driven too, so it will be a whole new game,” said Allen.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it. It’s always nice to try something different, but I had a test at Winton and that helped me get up to speed.
“At the moment, it’s just a one-off race for me. If I enjoy it, I’ll look into doing it next year if it doesn’t clash with any of my racing in Europe, and it will be nice to race back at home for once!"
Chelsea Angelo is also set to return to the series in a Kelly Racing Holden Astra, having sat out the last three rounds.
The other KR Astra will be raced by Supercars star Andre Heimgartner.
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