Another two drivers have entered the fold for TCR Australia Series’ historic upcoming season opener in Sydney with Dylan O’Keeffe and Alex Rullo both securing new drives.
With less than two weeks to go until the highly-anticipated inaugural round at the Shannons Nationals, O’Keefe will be racing for Ashley Seward Motorsport (ASM) in one of the Garry Rogers Motorsport-owned Alfa Romeo Guilietta Veloces, while Rullo will contest the series in one of Kelly Racing’s Opel Astra TCR cars.
Despite being only 18-year-old, Rullo has a wealth of national track experience thanks to stints spent in the Super3 V8 Series, Super2 Series and a season in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
While Rullo has already spent time with Kelly Racing having co-driven for Simona De Silvestro in the Supercars endurance races last year, the West-Australian is excited for a new challenge in a team he’s comfortable with.
“It’s great to be continuing my relationship with Kelly Racing in the new TCR Australia Series driving the new Astra,” said Alex Rullo.
“The cars are terrific. The cars just landed and I‘m looking forward to driving the Astra at Winton on Monday (at the TCR test day). I drove a British Touring Car Astra in the UK recently. These are similar to the TCR cars, and that was a heap of fun.
“Kelly Racing is a great team though, so I feel we are going to be at the top and really looking forward to being a part of it.”
It’s been a busy week for Kelly Racing after recently announcing CAMS Australian Rally Championship driver Molly Taylor would also race in TCR for the team this season. Team owner Todd Kelly was delighted to add another driver on board.
“We really enjoyed our relationship with Alex last year and we are glad to be able to keep him in our stables in the Astra TCR car,” Kelly said.
“For a young kid, he is very mature behind the wheel and has a lot of potential. These cars are going to suit him and the experienced field of drivers will be a good test.”
O’Keefe is also considered a rising star in Australian motor sport after placing sixth in the Carrera cup last year and the 21-year-old is looking forward to adding an international-inspired series onto his resume.
“I’ve watched some of the TCR races overseas, and they’re always great to watch – the cars are evenly-matched, and they put on close racing with plenty of passing.” O’Keefe said.
“One of the best things about the category is the cars are the same all around the world, so once you’ve learned the right driving technique, you can go and race in other TCR events and know what to expect.”
O’Keefe’s inclusion into the series with ASM sees the two parties continue their program for 2019 with O’Keefe simultaneously competing in the Dunlop Super2 Series with the team.
Outside of competing with a GRM car, ASM will also share technical information, data and logistics with the Victorian-based GRM team, something team owner Ashley Seward believes will have a positive effect on the season.
“I’ve known Garry and Barry Rogers since I was very young, and our workshop is only 500 metres away from theirs – it made total sense for us to work together on this program,” Seward said.
“They are running three other TCR cars, and we will both benefit from each other’s resources and technical knowledge
“I’ve watched TCR cars in overseas races, and when it was announced the series was coming to Australia, I decided it was definitely a category we needed to be involved in.”
Broadcast live, free and in HD on SBS, the TCR Australia Series will kick off at Sydney Motorsport Park as part of the Shannons Nationals on 17-19 May. All sessions will be streamed live on thenationals.com.au.
Tickets to the historic round can be purchased here.