Maiden podium just the start for Kody Garland

A breakthrough maiden podium for Valvoline Team GRM’s Kody Garland has provided enhanced confidence and momentum to start his second Supercheap Auto TCR Australia season.

Moving from Renault to the race winning Peugeot 308 TCR package now solely run by Garry Rogers Motorsport, Garland began his season in the nearly the best way possible by scoring a maiden podium.

It comes after adjusting to the new model as well as the new control Kumho tyres, however a great lead-in provided Garland with seventh on the starting grid, but through penalties and non-starters this turned into fifth.

A great start elevated Garland to third and he held this until the end of Race 1 marking his first podium in the category.

The inverted top 10 for Race 2 proved a difficult affair starting back in the pack at a circuit notoriously hard to pass at. Garland finished 10th in the second affair, before finishing sixth in the final to sit seventh in the standings.

“This round has been better than I could have asked for, in my debut with the Peugeot,” said Garland.

“To get the podium in Race 1 was just phenomenal. We had a battle on our hands with the reverse grid race which put us back in the pack, but we earned some solid points and to come away seventh in the championship puts us in a good place to build from for the rest of the year.

“I’d never done a 30 lap stint here at Symmons Plains, so the car was starting to feel a little worse for wear by the end of it. In hindsight I could have looked after the brakes a bit better and the tyres as well, but that’s all part of the learning experience and we’ve got a big hurdle behind us now.

“Starting this year on the front foot was critical, it’s all about building momentum so to get it started with a good points haul is all we could ask for. I learnt a lot from myself as well this weekend, being in contention for the lead group in every race which is not something I’m used to in TCR. I am comfortable with it now, which is important because I plan on being in that lead group all year.”

The next round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series will be at Phillip Island on May 12-14 as part of the Shannons SpeedSeries.