Tasmania TCR: Morcom takes maiden pole
Nathan Morcom scored his first TCR Australia pole position ahead of the opening race of the 2022 season at Symmons Plain.
The HMO Customer Racing Hyundai driver was a contender across both 10-minute sessions to settle the grid.
He comfortably made it through Q1 with the fifth fastest time, the gap back to early pacesetter Tony D'Alberto just five hundredths of a second.
Morcom then stepped up his game in the second part of qualifying, a 55.293s helping him to his first TCR Australia pole.
"It's a bloody ripper," he said. "The boys did a mega job. We were fast in practice but I didn't think we had it in us [in qualifying]. I gave it my all down at the hairpin and pulled it off. It's awesome for the team."
Jay Hanson (Melbourne Performance Centre Audi) qualified second, the gap to Morcom just a single hundredth of a second.
Inaugural series champion Will Brown, back after missing the 2021 season, qualified third in his MPC Audi, as Josh Buchan capped off a good session for the HMO squad with fourth.
James Moffat ended up sixth in his Garry Rogers Motorsport Renault after a lock-up on his final run.
D'Alberto (Wall Honda) slipped back to seventh after topping Q1, followed by Bailey Sweeny (HMO Hyundai) and GRM Peugeot pair Aaron Cameron and Jordan Cox.
Dylan O'Keeffe was unlucky not to get through to Q2, the GRM Peugeot driver to start Race 1 from 11th after being bumped at the flag.
"It's a real shame," said the TCR race winner. "We were strong in practice and hoping for bit more. I'm pretty annoyed, the car is a bit of an handful compared to yesterday."
Former Supercars full-timer Fabian Coulthard (Wall Honda) went out in the first qualifying session as well, the Kiwi banking 13th on the grid for his TCR debut.
"I'm enjoying it, but my knowledge of the TCR category is very little," said Coulthard.
"I'm putting a lot of faith in the guys at Wall Racing and their understanding of what you do in a qualifying situation with a rear tyre that doesn't do a great deal. I think we went a little bit too far on the set-up, it was a little bit too lively for me."
He fared better than fellow former Supercars star Michael Caruso, though, his first outing in an Ash Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo badly affected by a power steering issue.
He'll start the first race from the very back of the grid.
Race 1 will kick off today at 4:25pm local time.
Watch all of the TCR Australia action from Symmons Plains live on Motorsport.tv.
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