A privateer’s view of competing in TCR Australia
What’s it like to enter the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series as a family-orientated privateer operation?
Team Soutar Motorsport were one of a handful of new entrants to join the burgeoning series this year as an influx of young driver’s joined the class locally this season.
Zac Soutar backed by father Shane and experienced engineer Brett Francis had planned to join the series in 2020, but the subsequent effects of the worldwide pandemic pushed his debut back to 2021.
Reflecting back on his journey so far, Soutar detailed the preparation and process undertaken through the transition from the National Formula Ford Series to the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series.
“Obviously, the front-wheel-drive TCR car compared to the rear-wheel-drive Formula Ford is very different, but coming from that junior formula with the basics of getting a race car around a circuit, you’re more than capable of jumping in a TCR,” Soutar said.
“Right back at the end of 2019 when we sold the Formula Ford and decided to go TCR racing, there was quite a bit of an upheaval. We had to sell off our old trailer, FoZarmula Ford and a lot of the parts that we had ahead of looking towards what we needed to run TCR.
“That was a pretty big step.”
Although there was no racing in 2020, it gave the Soutars an opportunity to further prepare for their maiden TCR campaign through learning their ex-Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, which continues over the course of this season.
“The car is great to work on, everything’s reasonably accessible, JAS Motorsport are fantastic with its manuals and communication to work out what its customers need,” described Soutar.
“The only tricky bit is that we don’t have prior knowledge of front-wheel-drive race cars or TCR or similar.
“Every single round has been a learning exercise.”
Soutar is confident consistent performances are not far away after featuring within the top 10 at both Phillip Island and Sydney Motorsport Park
Soutar believes consistent performances are on the way after demonstrating top 10 pace at Phillip Island earlier this year.
“I think we’ve got a bit of direction after Sydney Motorsport Park,” said Soutar. “I’m hoping from the next round onwards we can have a base set-up and start playing with the finer details of the chassis.
“I think hopefully going forward we’ll be further in the mix and going into next year we can hit the ground running to be in the top 10, which is my goal.”