Has TCR Australia unearthed its first actual star?

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There was a sure consistency to the roll-out of driver bulletins for the inaugural TCR Australia season.

The recruitment drive from organisers Australian Racing Group clearly struck a chord with what may be loosely termed the ‘co-driver’ market; skilled racers sitting simply outdoors of the full-time Supercars sphere.

Assume Tony D’Alberto, Chris Pither, James Moffat, Will Brown, Dylan O’Keeffe, Alex Rullo, and so forth.

Mixed with Bathurst winner Jason Shiny and present Supercars full-timer Andre Heimgartner, there have been little in the best way of apparent weak hyperlinks from the phrase go.

For that purpose, information that a 19-year-old karting champion had signed on to race a Melbourne Efficiency Centre VW stood out. In spite of everything, the title Aaron Cameron was one in all only a few that wasn’t immediately recognisable to the informal observer.

Cameron arrived in TCR Australia because the reigning nationwide KZ2 champ, in addition to sporting a various automobile racing CV. There have been clear indicators of promise, sporadic appearances in Aussie Formulation Ford and SuperUtes leading to race wins, together with a category victory at this 12 months’s Bathurst 6 Hour.

However having by no means run a constant programme at a correctly respected stage, it was tough to decipher simply the place the teen was at.

What he did deliver to the collection was correct TCR expertise, due to a handful of abroad enduro outings. Technically, he got here into the season with extra TCR data than anybody.

However even the leg-up with the hardware wasn’t anticipated to make up for the short-fall in outright profession miles.

Over the course of the 2019 season Cameron has performed greater than maintain his personal. In a marketing campaign that is been all about younger expertise, with highly-rated up-and-comers Brown and O’Keeffe combating it out for the title, Cameron has used TCR Australia to place himself on the map.

Aaron Cameron

Photograph by: Daniel Kalisz

He first confirmed he belongs at this stage with three Prime 10 finishes, together with a fourth place on the Sunday afternoon, on the season opener in Sydney again in Might.

A conflict with MPC stablemates Garth and Leanne Tander throughout race two at Phillip Island was a small blot on the copybook, however he responded with a first podium later that day, taking third.

One other third place got here at Queensland Raceway, Cameron splitting famend professionals Russell Ingall and D’Alberto within the second race.

And final day trip at Winton he made it clear that none of it had been a fluke with a third and a second from the 2 Sunday races.

The latter got here with Ingall sizzling on his heels, the 2005 Supercars champ driving an Audi run out of the identical MPC storage.

After the race Ingall admitted that, with the vehicles arrange virtually identically, he had little likelihood of overhauling Cameron, earlier than making public plea on TV for “company Australia” to step up and again this promising younger bloke.

Reward would not come simple from a bullish, old-fashioned racer like Ingall. He isn’t identified to pump up individuals’s tyres out of politeness. If he says the child is nice, he means it.

Between the shout-out from Ingall, and the string of podiums towards a stacked subject, there’s little doubt that Cameron is now very a lot ‘on the radar’.

“Yeah, it is helped me personally, and my title’s gone leaps and bounds ahead,” says Cameron.

“I began the 12 months as a ‘who’s that?’ form of factor. I am slowly working my approach there. It is simply making an attempt to get respect from guys like Russell and Tony D’Alberto, the entire guys which have been round for years.

“It is about making an attempt to not take them out at any time, make good, clear passes. I feel that is one of the best ways to earn respect on this class.

“You all the time doubt your self as a younger man, considering ‘am I ok?’. So it’s fairly cool once you’re beating the likes of D’Alberto or Jason Shiny. I am in the identical [brand of] automobile as [Bright], and I’ve beat him plenty of the time this 12 months.

“There is a honest strategy to go, say, to get to Will Brown’s stage. Little question Will has been actually placing the outcomes on the board, profitable on a regular basis. So I’ve simply obtained to extract a bit extra out of it in qualifying trim, after which that’ll put us up there.”

Aaron Cameron, Melbourne Performance Centre Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

Aaron Cameron, Melbourne Efficiency Centre Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

Photograph by: Daniel Kalisz

Cameron could also be placing himself within the store window, however, curiously, he is not bothered if any Supercars groups are paying consideration.

Not like most younger Aussies, he is not making an attempt to interrupt into the potentially-lucrative native V8 scene. He isn’t contemplating the abroad open-wheeler path both.

As an alternative, Cameron has set his sights on a world TCR profession, with the WTCR his major objective.

“I feel WTCR and the entire TCR panorama all over the world is wanting fairly wholesome in the intervening time,” he says. “In order that’s the place I feel we’ll be heading within the years to return.

“I actually like TCR. Irrespective of automobile you are in at a sure observe, for those who drive it correctly you are going to have a shot at getting the rostrum. The place, for those who have a look at Supercars, for me it’s kind of about what automobile, what staff, what 12 months… that form of determines your outcomes.

“I’ve by no means pushed Supercars, so I actually do not know what they really feel like, what they do, and all that. However these [TCR] vehicles, they’re completely loopy. Like, it is sideways on a regular basis, and also you by no means know what’s actually going to occur.

“The racing is simply superior. Supercars plenty of the time appears a bit like a processional form of factor

“So yeah, I am going to attempt to TCR Australia subsequent 12 months, after which have a look at some one-offs drives abroad.

“It’s nearly what alternatives come up. Melbourne Efficiency Centre has obtained nice connections with Audi abroad, so I am actually taking a look at that extra subsequent 12 months.”

If Cameron is certainly the actual deal, and goes on to have an honest skilled tin-top profession of any form, it is going to be a win for TCR Australia.

TCR’s international attain has been a giant promoting level for ARG, so having somebody like Cameron efficiently use the Aussie collection as a launchpad to the WTCR could be vastly handy.

However, ought to he have a change of coronary heart and efficiently pursue Supercars, which may simply work too.

TCR Australia is probably not a menace to the top-tier of touring automobile racing on this nation. However a viable various to Super2 at a fraction of the finances? Yeah, that might get a number of individuals .

Aaron Cameron, Melbourne Perfomance Centre Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

Aaron Cameron, Melbourne Perfomance Centre Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

Photograph by: Daniel Kalisz