10 November 2022 | General

Dylan O’Keeffe expects Supercheap Auto Bathurst International to be battle of attrition

Schaeffler GRM Peugeot driver Dylan O’Keeffe expects the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series finale this weekend to be a tough contest, with longevity and tyre wear key factors in the longer races this weekend.

A trio of 21-lap races lay ahead at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International, with many unknowns surrounding the event due to it being the first of its kind since the category debuted in Australia three years ago.

“We’ve never done races this long, but there are a few things we’re predicting,” O’Keeffe said.

“Firstly, tyre conservation will be a factor – we’ve seen that the cars can use their front tyres quite aggressively over a race distance. Bathurst is not as hard on tyres as some other tracks, but it’s still something I’ll have to take into consideration with my driving technique.

“Secondly, we’ll be starting with a heavy fuel load that will burn down as the race progresses, so the balance of the car will change considerably between the start and finish. There will be cars that will be fast early, and others that come on strongly later in the race, which will make things interesting.

“Fortunately, I’ve had plenty of experience doing long stints in the Bathurst 6 Hour and Bathurst 1000 this year, so I’m feeling well prepared.”

Peugeot was the brand to beat when Supercheap Auto TCR Australia last visited Bathurst during Easter and O’Keeffe knows the strengths of the 308 TCR will favour it during the races.

“The Peugeots are very quick over a lap, but their strength is over the top of the Mountain, between Griffin’s Bend and Schaeffler Forrest Elbow,” he said.

“It’s difficult to overtake through those sections of the track, so it will be important to qualify well and stay up the front of the field.”

He maybe a distant chance of the title, but O’Keeffe is targeting a top three finish in the standings.

“A top three result in the championship is still well within reach, so that’s our aim to close out the year,” O’Keeffe confirmed. “While we’ve been consistently in the lead pack all season, I haven’t won any races yet so that’s a box I’m also aiming to tick.”

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