Garth Walden Racing (GWR) has secured the services of Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup regular Michael Almond for the 2019 TCR Australia season opener at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Almond will be armed with one of the Sydney based team’s Hyundai i30 N TCR cars with Astrontech and Commercial Interior Projects jumping on board to sponsor the South Australian for the event.
With Almond competing in the Carrera Cup for the past six years, as well as having previous experience in the Touring Car Masters and V8 Utes, the 35-year-old is excited to be a part of the new touring car class.
“It’s just for one event at the moment, but we’ll see how we goes. If everyone gets excited and we get more support, we’ll have a look and see if we can finish the season,” Almond said.
“I used to love playing TOCA (the 1990s game based on the British Touring Car Championship). That was some of my favourite times as a teen, playing the game. I was a huge fan of the BTCC. The racing is always close, with the cars going three wide and hard, solid racing.
“The cars have the paddle shift gearbox and a really nice Michelin tyre. Both of these things I’ll be used to from my Porsche racing. I’ve haven’t done much front-wheel drive racing, but the recipe is there to have some fun so I’m really looking forward to it.”
With GWR entering just the one car for this weekend’s season opener, team owner Garth Walden was thrilled to be able to be part of the historic event and to have Almond behind the wheel.
“It’s great to confirm that we’ll have one car on the grid for Sydney Motorsport Park,” Walden added.
“It’s going to be great to be part of history – the first round of TCR in Australia. I’m getting plenty of calls and messages about it, so I reckon they’ll be a big crowd there.
“It’s fantastic to have Michael Almond as the driver. He has been part of our team as a driver coach for a number of years and it’s good to have him in the race seat.
“He has raced in many categories and I’m confident that he’ll adapt to the front wheel drive TCR car quickly.
“It’s a shame that we’ll have our other Hyundai in the garage for this event, but we expect to get it out for Round 2 at Phillip Island.”
The first round of the seven-round series takes places at the Shannons Nationals visit to Sydney Motorsport Park on 17-19 May.
Every race of the series will be broadcast live and free on SBS, as well as forming part of the two-day live stream on motorsportaustraliachampionships.com.au.