O'Keeffe eyeing full-time WTCR seat after Zolder debut

Rachit Thukral
·2 mins read

O'Keeffe became the first Australian driver to take part in a WTCR weekend when he contested the 2020 season-opener as a wildcard, driving a Renault Megane TCR car for Vukovic Motorsport.

The 22-year-old qualified 13th in a 22-car field before finishing 13th and 12th in the two races, maintaining an upper hand over Vukovic’s full season driver Jack Young the entire weekend.

Having been satisfied with his performance, O’Keeffe says he would like to secure a full-season driver in the WTCR. 

“It was a good experience. I don’t want to leave it at just that. I definitely want go back and do more,” he said.

“For a while, I’d been saying that I wanted to be the first Australian to do a race in the WTCR, and now that I have ticked that box, I want to be the first Australian driver to do it full-time.

“The series is obviously very competitive, but I feel we showed that we weren’t out of our depth. I’m really keen to get back over there and do it again.” 

“With a bit more testing in the Renault, there’s no reason why that car can’t run up the front with the leading factory teams,” he said.

“We were quite conservative in some of our set-up changes, as it is a new team and a new level, but if I had another test day and have the chance to throw some proper changes at the car, I think we could have been a genuine top 10 on pace.”

After staying in Switzerland for one month to remain close to Vukvoic’s headquarters and avoid travel restrictions, O’Keeffe will return to his homeland to ramp up his preparation for the 2020 TCR Australia season.

O’Keeffe will again drive a Renault Megane in the regional TCR championship, having signed a deal with Garry Rogers Motorsport for his second season in the category.

He finished fifth in his rookie campaign in 2019, scoring four victories driving an Alfa Romeo Giulietta for Ashley Seward Motorsport.

“GRM showed glimpse of pace last year, but the reliability let them down,” he said. 

“Touch wood, we’ve sorted that. Our car ran all weekend with no reliability problems, and neither did the other car. 

“This certainly gives me a lot of confidence ahead of the TCR Australia Series, and I really can’t wait for that to get started.”