Tasmanian rally star Eddie Maguire will swap pacenotes for the racetrack this weekend after securing a seat in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series.
With the series’ 2022 season getting underway at Symmons Plains this weekend, Maguire will make his circuit debut behind the wheel of the Melbourne Performance Centre-prepared Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
The move marks a new challenge for Maguire who has enjoyed plenty of recent success running tarmac rallies in his Dodge Viper, as well as winning rounds in the Motorsport Australia Tasmanian Rally Championship aboard his Mitsubishi Evo 9.
However despite not having any experience racing front-wheel drive cars or any circuit racing, the 2021 TARGA Tasmania winner will at least be able to make his debut at a track familiar to him.
Having toyed with the thought of branching out of rallying after a successful 2021, Maguire’s idea turned into reality earlier this month when the former Aaron Cameron/Chelsea Angelo VW Golf became available.
“We’ve done a lot of gravel and tarmac rallying with quite a bit of success, but after winning Targa Tasmania last year we just wanted to look for some different things to do in motorsport,” Maguire said.
“I haven’t got any circuit racing experience at all, but I’ve had a few conversations with Lee and Troy at MPC, I’ve probably known them for 15 years.
“I’ve said to them over the years if there are any other opportunities and I received a phone call from Lee last week to say MPC had a spare car to have a go in at Tassie. I thought, ‘if there was anywhere I was going to start it would be around a familiar track’.
“I’ve never driven a front-wheel-drive race car, prior to the Viper I’ve always driven Mitsubishi Lancer Evos on gravel and tarmac. I’m hoping I can get my head around it in practice and we’ll see how we go.
“If by the end of the weekend I’m putting down some good laps and maybe even claw our way up the field then that would be great, but I don’t have any huge expectations. I’m just there for the experience.
“I’ve been keeping my eye on the TCR Australia Series for a while now and I think it’s a great concept. Certainly, if we have a good weekend, we enjoy it and go alright, we’d look at doing other rounds.”
Melbourne Performance Centre’s Troy Russell was excited to have Maguire join the team for the season opener.
“We’ve had a long standing relationship with Eddie and the opportunity to offer him a drive at his home event was one not to pass up,” Russell added.
“Eddie is experienced around Symmons Plains and won Targa Tasmania last year, so hopefully that success to the circuit.
“It’s awesome to welcome another driver to Supercheap Auto TCR Australia. It continues to grow and so has our team with its commitment including the new Audi RS3 LMS TCR for Jay Hanson.”