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The start of the new TCR Australia Series wasn’t as kind to Tufflift Racing as the team had hoped.

With a new Audi RS3 LMS TCR car, new naming rights sponsor and a team that’s more prepared than ever, all signs pointed towards a successful weekend down on the Apple Isle.

Things started off well, with Zac placing 3rd overall during Friday Practice. The speed continued over into qualifying, where Zac qualified in 3rd place during Q1.

However, this is where the weekend would take a turn for the worst.

After setting purple sectors on a lap that was potentially looking to put Zac at the top of the timesheets in Q1, the spline on the end of the left hand front driveshaft snapped, which saw Zac crawling back to the pits with no drive.

Upon diagnosing the problem, things would unfortunately only get worse for Zac and the team, when it was discovered that there was no spares of the part in question available anywhere in the country, meaning that the weekend was all but over.

The team made a valiant attempt at fixing the broken part on Saturday night, welding the spline back to the tripod housing before putting the car back together. However it wasn’t enough, and the same part broke again after 5 laps in Race 2.

We were not alone with this issue. Liqui Moly Racing’s Will Brown in the sister Audi RS3 LMS TCR also experienced the same weekend ending issues, meaning that both cars walked away from the weekend with no championship points.

The part in question was brand new on both cars going into the weekend, and should have, in theory, lasted the entire season. An investigation is now underway by Audi Sport in Germany to try and provide an explanation and then a solution to the issues.

Although our championship aspirations have taken a huge hit, there’s no way that we’ll be giving up any time soon. We’ll be back punching hard at Phillip Island for Round 2 of the TCR Australia Series on May 12th - 14th.


Zac Soutar - Tufflift Racing

“It’s a massive shame for the team. The car only arrived just over a week ago, and it was such a big effort from all involved to turn it around and get it down to Tasmania for Round 1. It’s just so disappointing that we didn’t even really get to race it.”

“What hurts even more is the fact that the car was so fast. When you’ve got a fast car you always want to make the most of it results wise, and unfortunately we didn’t even get the chance to have a crack.”

“Hopefully we can get the issues sorted and come back swinging at Phillip Island for Round 2.”

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