Race Tasmania gets off to a flyer

The first day of the 2023 Shannons SpeedSeries season has been completed as all six categories part of the AWC Race Tasmania enjoyed plenty of track time.

With the sun shining over Symmons Plains all day, competitors across each category had the chance to test the cars in the conditions, while half went as far as qualifying for the weekend’s races.

The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, the National Trans Am Series and the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship all held just practice sessions today, with a number of drivers showing plenty of pace early.

Having made the switch to Trans Am in pre-season, James Moffat was the standout performer during the category’s two sessions, as he topped the time sheets in both.

Click here to find out how Moffat dominated the day.

Photos: Angryman Photography and Daniel Kalisz

His former category was ruled by an emerging talent in Bailey Sweeney, with the youngster going fastest in session one ahead of 2019 champion Will Brown, while the positions were reversed in the second session.

Practice one was the faster of the two sessions, meaning Sweeney’s 55.925 second lap proved to be fastest overall – Brown’s timesheet-topping time in session two still the third fastest time overall.

Click here for full results from TCR

In S5000s, Spaniard Robert Mehri posted the fastest time of the day as he edged out James Golding by just one thousandth of a second as very little separated the duo in either session.

Defending champion Joey Mawson topped the charts in session one over Aaron Cameron, and both drivers were in the hunt during the second as they recorded the third and fourth fastest time for the day overall.

Click here for a full report on the day.

The other three categories, led by the Gulf Western Oils Touring Car Masters, in action today completed qualifying in addition to practice.

Steven Johnson was too strong for the field in Qualifying today, as a lightning quick fifth lap time broke the category lap record by nine tenths of a second – securing pole in the process.

Johnson ended up finishing three and a half tenths ahead of that previous record holder in John Bowe, while Andrew Fisher rounded the top three.

Click here for more information on TCM qualifying.

The remaining two categories for the day were the state-level Tassie Tin Tops and Hyundai Excels, both running their qualifying sessions.

In Tin Tops, Liam Hooper was in a league of his own as he steered his Nissan Skyline to pole position by one and half seconds over Dodge Viper driver Eddie Maguire.

It was much closer in the Excels as less than a second separated the top four – Hugo Simpson fastest by just three tenths over Campbell Logan, while Jeremy Bennett was a further four tenths off ahead of Damien Midgley.

The action resumes tomorrow morning, with tickets available for purchase via motorsporttickets.com.au.

This weekend’s action can be seen live and ad-free on Stan Sport on both Saturday and Sunday from 11.30am – 5pm AEDT.

Saturday will also see live coverage across the 9Go (Sydney) and 9GEM (the rest of Australia) from 2pm-5pm AEDT.

Those watching overseas will be able to watch the stream live on the Shannons SpeedSeries website by heading to SpeedSeries.com.au/TV or via Speedcafe.com.