Racing driver Liam McAdam, enlists international expertise in preparation for this year’s TCR Australia season.

23 January, 2020

A new year and an all-new challenge for Brisbane-based racing driver, Liam McAdam, who will campaign an Audi RS LMS car in this year’s TCR Australia championship. McAdams contested the final three rounds of last year’s series in the Audi, and now his Brisbane-based privateer team – Liam McAdam Motorsport – has secured the very Audi RS 3 LMS that was run by Melbourne Performance Centre last year and which saw considerable success in the hands of several different drivers.

Amongst those who drove the ‘blue Audi’ were international star, Jean-Karl Vernay, who is currently in Australia assisting McAdam and his team in preparing for the coming season, sharing his impressive knowledge of TCR racing and the Audi RS 3 LMS in particular as the countdown begins for Race 1 at this year’s Australian Grand Prix in March. 

“Having JK here is very advantageous for our testing program,” says Liam McAdam

“He has been really good getting set-up advice, and he has had some of his engineers from WTCR giving us some further assistance. Straight out of the box here at Phillip Island, the car has felt really good.”

Liam McAdam Motorsport will contest the 2020 TCR Australia series in the Audi RS 3 LMS

We’ve also been working on my driving, because he [Vernay] is far more experienced than myself and is able to give the feedback that I need to get the most out of the car

No stranger to motorsport, McAdam has competed in numerous different classes of racing, winning the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series as well as competing in Formula Ford, the Toyota 86 Series and the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series. Indeed it was at the 2015 V8 Supercars Dunlop Series at Bathurst that he first worked with John Russell, who will also join the team this year bringing a wealth of experience as race engineer.

The purpose of the Phillip Island testing was two-fold, with McAdam looking to gain further experience behind the wheel of the Audi and also looking to optimise the setup, drawing on the combined expertise of Vernay and Russell.

McAdam’s natural driving ability stands him in good stead and the fact that he was behind the wheel of the Audi for the closing races last year also add to his appreciation of how the car feels on the track.

“The whole point of running the last three rounds last year was to get a taste for the cars and understand them. Running with Melbourne Performance Centre (MPC) we learnt a lot, and it has put us in a good position to run our own privateer effort,” says McAdam.

Certainly there is no doubting the speed and competitiveness of the Audi, recording wins last season in the hands of Garth Tander and of course Vernay himself, who was blindingly fast in qualifying at Queensland Raceway last year, before going on to also record a convincing win. 

“He [McAdam] has bought the car that I raced at Queensland, and he wanted some tips and using my experience to ensure that he is a title contender this year,” says the French star. 

“I’m just here to show him some tips to make the difference driving wise, as well as some technical support. He is doing everything right, so we’ll see how he goes at the first race.”

Although this trip Down Under won’t see the Frenchman racing, he has indicated that he’d like to do more racing in Australia in future, hinting at a possible start in the Grand Prix support race or certainly the Bathurst 500 set down for November this year. 

“I would really like to come back to Australia for some racing at the TCR Bathurst 500 or even the Albert Park races,” says Vernay. “We’ll just have to see what the future holds.”

In the meantime though, all focus is on helping Liam McAdam and his team prepare for the coming seven round TCR Australia season and special TCR events which include the TCR Asia Pacific Cup (at the Australian Grand Prix) and the inaugural TCR Bathurst 500 (November 13-15).

Jean-Karl Vernay has indicated he would love to come back and compete Down Under again, possibly at the inaugural Bathurst 500 this year