I don’t think I can remember the last time a new motor racing category has stirred up so much commotion in the industry or the public eye before the cars had even hit the track for a race. But for many, myself included, there was a new glimmer in the eye as the new TCR Australia Series got under way for Round 1 at the Shannons Nationals at Sydney Motorsport Park. With what seems like a huge fan uproar in the current season of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, I’ve seen some even tout it as the “Supercars Killer” like everyone will all of a sudden stop watching the Supercars Championship for this new one. Yeah, nah.
When I headed out to Sydney Motorsport Park on Sunday though, I could feel a sense of excitement in the air surrounding the first ever race of TCR cars in Australia. It felt like every second car parked across the hills was a hot hatch of some description, a subtle indication that the Australian automotive landscape is really moving away from larger sedans in favour of smaller hatches (and SUVs, but that is for another conversation). I couldn’t help but be hopeful for the Volkswagen contingent as an owner of one, but safe to say the racing on track was everything I thought it would be amongst the 17 car field. It was refreshing at least to see the start of the metaphorical race against some well-established heavyweights.