Building up his Audi knowledge will be the target for Zac Soutar when he tests at Phillip Island next week in anticipation of Round 2 of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series round at the venue in May.
Demonstrating pace during the pre-event test and practice at AWC Race Tasmania, a driveshaft problem not only afflicted Soutar’s Tufflift Racing Audi RS3 LMS Gen2 TCR, but the LIQUI MOLY Team MPC entry of Will Brown.
Now fixed, Soutar can’t wait to learn more about his new Audi and the Kumho control tyres.
“It’ll be interesting to see how much of a difference the tyre makes because at the end of the day it is very different, so whether the Audi has as much advantage as last year remains to be seen,” said Soutar.
“The Audi is ready go for a test day at Phillip Island, where we’ll be going through a program to see how the tyres react to a fast flowing circuit. It’s quite hard on tyres, so we just want to see how the car reacts to that and just play with a few set up ideas we have, while I continue to get used to the it.”
Despite the limited running there were plenty of positives to take from AWC Race Tasmania.
“The Audi was so quick straight out of the blocks in Tasmania, it was such a rush to get it there that it was nice to get it there on track and have it be fast almost immediately,” said Soutar.
“There are little differences between the Audi and the Honda I had, which I had to get used to in addition to some muscle memory I had to reprogram a little a bit to get the most out of the Audi.
“We were definitely getting there and the heart breaking thing about it was in qualifying I felt like I was finally on top of the car, so it was coming together at the right time.
“It happened and the driveshaft broke, so it was all over from there.
Soutar revealed the adaption adaptions needed to get the most out of the Audi compared to his previous Honda.
“The Honda was a very oversteery car, so it turned a lot from the rear and I used the throttle to help turn it, which is something I got pretty used to,” he explained.
“Whereas in the Audi handles a lot more like a traditional rear-wheel-drive race car in terms of being patient on the throttle, straighter off the exit and you can’t rely on the rear-end to rotate the car for you.
“That’s taken me a bit to get used to, but by the time qualifying came around at Symmons Plains I was pretty much there.”
Soutar is determined to turn the potential displayed in Tasmania to results at Phillip Island.
“I’m hoping the car will be somewhere on the pace as it will be up to my team and I to get the most out of it,” Soutar concluded.
Ahead of next week’s test, Soutar will have his Audi RS3 LMS TCR Gen2 on display at Benzina Stables in the Melbourne suburb of Preston for Cars and Coffee.
Address: Benzina Stables, 4 Water Road Preston
The next round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series will be held at Phillip Island on May 12-14 as part of the Shannons SpeedSeries.
Get your tickets for Phillip Island at motorsporttickets.com.au