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24 May 2021 | General

McLeod: We’re making inroads to the front

Pioneering Holden Commodore driver Gerard McLeod is convinced his team are rapidly making inroads towards the front of the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters grid.

The first Commodore to tackle TCM, McLeod scored a quartet of top-10 finishes at Sydney Motorsport Park recently in the most consistent overall weekend in his brief history in the category.

The vastly experienced Victorian driver believes his time to succeed in the category will come, the promising Sydney results an early pointer of his cars’ underlying potential.

“Sydney Motorsport Park was a really strong weekend for us and it was really the Commodore’s second ever race meeting,” McLeod said.

“Our last-minute debut at Adelaide in 2020 was basically a shakedown. The car is now genuinely within a second of the leaders and that’s very encouraging for a car still so new in its development”

McLeod said the Commodore, one of the only cars in the category to run the same-sized front and rear tyres, had several positive attributes that were already shining through.

“The car handles awesome and really hangs onto its tyres well, so if we can get some more straight line performance out of it we should be more competitive once we return to the bigger tracks like Sandown and Bathurst later in the year,” he said.

“The biggest hurdle I have had has been learning the characteristic of the 245 Hoosier tyre, as we seem to not get as much gain when compared to our rivals when the tyres are fresh, which we are working on fixing now.”

“Now that the car has a couple race meeting under its belt we can press go on refining a whole heap of areas across the car that up until now have been left idle.

“We have some small suspension and gearing upgrades that we will debut at Morgan Park that should help the car bridge the gap to the lead four cars.”

McLeod heads to the next round of the series at Morgan Park Raceway in regional Queensland holding down 13th in the championship, but confident of a strong result.

The June 25-27 event will mark the first time that TCM will have raced at the circuit, offering up a level playing field for the first time in years.

“I have never raced at Morgan Park before, but I think that the tighter the track the better our chances of a good result are so we should be right in the mix up north come June,” he said.

“Being the only commodore in the field we actually get a heap of support from die hard Holden Commodore fans cheering the car on so for that I think the car has been a great addition to the TCM paddock”

Round 4 of the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters Series will be held at Morgan Park Raceway on June 25-27.

Tickets must be pre-purchased. CLICK HERE to secure your place at the Queensland venue.