TCR Update No. 6

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The TCR International Series returns from its break this weekend where it is part of the support bill of the Singapore Grand Prix along with the TCR Asia field however, that hasn’t stopped the news flowing…

Here are the latest updates…. 

TWO JAS HONDA CARS FOR TCR ASIA SERIES

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Two new JAS-built Honda Civic TCR cars left the Milan technical centre of JAS Motorsport bound for the TCR Asia Series to be driven by Kenneth Lau and Michael Choi.

These two cars will enter the series’ opening event on 5-6 September at Sepang and then continue with the TCR International series in Thailand, Singapore and Macau.

Lau and Choi have run JAS prepared Accord cars in Asia since 2009 and announced plans to move to the burgeoning TCR Asia series earlier.

“These are the first JAS TCR cars in Asia,”reports Mads Fischer, Customer Support Manager for JAS Motorsport. “Kenneth and Michael have been loyal customers of JAS for years and we are delighted that they are joining the TCR category. We have a lot on enquiries from Asia and have laid down a batch of 6 cars to be ready for January delivery as we expect existing and new customers to sign up for the TCR Asia series. The Benelux series is also picking up speed quickly and we expect to have cars running there in 2016.”

NIGHT RACE FOR TCR AT SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX

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Competitors of the TCR International Series will experience the thrill of racing at night on the occasion of the next race meeting that will take place on September 19 and 20 in the frame of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix.
Track activity will begin on Friday, September 18, with back-to-back Free Practice sessions of 25 minutes each, at 15.00 and 15.50 local time.

The 30-minute Qualifying session will happen at 15.45 on Saturday, September 19, followed by Race 1 at 22.25 (16.25 CET), immediately after the F1 Qualifying. The second race will open Sunday’s programme at 16.30 (10.30 CET).

RACB NATIONAL TEAM SUPPORTS YOUNG TALENTS IN TCR BENELUX

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The RACB National Team, the Belgian sporting authority’s programme to support young talents, is focusing its attention on touring car racing and more specifically, on the TCR Benelux series that will kick-off next year.
So far, the programme has been supporting rally and single-seater young drivers, giving a significant boost to the careers of the likes of WRC star Thierry Neuville and Stoffel Vandoorne, who is now at the door of Formula 1.

“Now it’s time to foster young talents in touring car racing and the TCR concept is a perfect platform to do so,” said Geoffroy Theunis, general manager of the RACB National Team.

The RACB National Team will organize a selection and reward the two best contenders with a drive in the 2016 TCR Benelux. The two winners will share one of the cars (as allowed under TCR Benelux rules) entered by the well-known Team WRT. The competition, organised in cooperation with SEAT importer, will kick off in September. It will take place on a simulator and is open to candidates born between 1 January 1991 and 1 January 2000. 

ENGSTRÖM IN A VW GOLF FOR THE ASIAN ROUNDS

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Tomas Engström will rejoin the Liqui Moly Team Engstler for the three final events of the TCR International Series at Singapore, Buriram and Macau.

The Swedish driver who made a first appearance in the championship at Sochi, at the wheel of a SEAT León car, will switch to a Volkswagen Golf for the Asian rounds. This is the very same car that Pol Rosell drove to victory in the second race at the Red Bull Ring in July.

“We were impressed by Tomas’ professionalism and performance in Russia.We are confident that he will be in a good position to fight for good results in the next races,” team manager Kurt Treml said.

Engström will join the team’s regulars Mikhail Grachev and Lorenzo Veglia who drive the second Golf and a SEAT León respectively.

TCR CELEBRATES THE FIRST NATIONAL CHAMPION

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Aleksey Dudukalo became the first driver to be crowned champion in a TCR car.

At the wheel of his Lukoil Racing SEAT León, Dudukalo scored the maximum points in the sixth event of the Russian Circuit Racing Series that took place at the Moscow Raceway.
Winning both races, Dudukalo stretched his leading margin in the classification of the Touring class to 120 points, a gap that cannot be filled with only one event left in the calendar.

The first race, on Saturday, took place under a pouring rain. Despite a few technical issues, Dudukalo was able to chase Vitaly Larionov’s BMW 320si and win the race by a close margin. The sun was shining on Sunday, when the second race started. Once again Larionov led in the early stages, but eventually Dudukalo overtook him and claimed a second victory.

Dudukalo’s team-mate Roman Golikov finished third in both races; he still hopes to claim second position in the championship as he lies only eight points behind Larionov.

RENÉ MÜNNICH RETURNS FOR SINGAPORE AND THAILAND

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René Münnich will rejoin the WestCoast Racing team for the next two events of the TCR International Series at Singapore’s Marina Bay Street Circuit and Thailand’s Biruram International Circuit.

The German driver had driven one of team’s Honda Civic cars in the first two race meetings of the season – the F1 Grands Prix of Malaysia and China – claiming a brilliant second place in Shanghai’s Race 1 that turned to be a triumphant 1-2-3 for WestCoast Racing.
Münnich will rejoin the Swedish team’s regulars Gianni Morbidelli and Kevin Gleason.

TOP RUN CONFIRMS THE SUBARU WILL RUN IN SINGAPORE

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Following yesterday’s successful test at Franciacorta, in Northern Italy, Top Run have confirmed their plan to run a brand new Subaru WRX TCR car at the next event of the TCR International Series in Singapore.

The team’s test drivers Roberto Russo and Gian Maria Gabbiani took turns behind the wheel and were also joined by former Italian F3 champion Luca Rangoni.

“We were very pleased with the test. The car ran well and we only encountered some minor technical issues that can be easily fixed. Results in terms of reliability and performance were even beyond our expectations, which pushed us to confirm our plan of shipping the car to Singapore. I have to say that our team personnel have done wonders to meet the tight schedule, and this despite the summer break which delayed deliveries from a number of suppliers,” said team principal Antonio Agnello.

TOP RUN PICKS LUCA RANGONI FOR SINGAPORE

Further to the announcement that the brand new Subaru WRX TSi will race at Singapore, Top Run motorsport has announced that Luca Rangoni will drive the Japanese car in its maiden appearance in the TCR International Series.

The Italian driver tested the Subaru, together with Roberto Russo and Gian Maria Gabbiani, earlier this week at Franciacorta.

“We finally chose Luca because we have worked together successfully in the past, when he helped us to develop the Mercedes in the Supercars series. Furthermore, his vast and varied experience with different kinds of cars in top-level international competitions makes us confident that he can help the team to meet the expectations we have for our TCR debut,” team manager Renato Russo explained.

In a successful racing career spanning twenty-five years, Rangoni has proved to be competitive in both single-seaters (he was crowned Italian F3 champion in 1995) and tin-top cars (he claimed three titles in the Renault Clio Eurocup and competed in several seasons of both the FIA World and European Touring Car championships).

“I had a good feeling during the test. Though it was a brand new car, my first impression was very encouraging. The engine is great, has the power and the torque, but we have to work on braking and traction to optimize the balance. Racing at Singapore will put all of us at the same level, because no one knows the track. Although I’m no longer an apprentice, I am extremely excited. I feel honoured and lucky for this opportunity to develop a new car in a new championship and at a Formula 1 event!” said Rangoni.

ACI SPORT LAUNCHES 2016 TCR ITALIAN CHAMPIONSHIP

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ACI Sport – the motorsport branch of the Italian National Sporting Authorithy CSAI – launched the TCR Italy that will kick off next year for its maiden season at the Vallelunga circuit.

In a meeting with representatives of all the teams that are currently competing in the different categories of the ACI Sport Racing Weekend, ACI Sport CEO Marco Rogano introduced the guidelines of the new Italian Touring Car Championship that will be shaped on the TCR technical regulations.

The championship will be composed of seven race meetings, one of them abroad; the sporting format will include two free practice sessions of 30 minutes each, one qualifying session split in two parts of 15 minutes each with a five-minute pause, and two sprint races of 25 minutes plus one lap each.
The grid for Race 1 will be determined by the sum of the best laps set in the two parts of the qualifying session, while the grid for Race 2 will be reversed according to a system that will be communicated later.

“We believe in the potential of the TCR concept and are confident that this is a unique opportunity to revive the tradition of touring car racing in Italy. We will push a lot in promotion and we will offer prize money and benefits to the competitors. Just to give an example, we want to help the winner of the championship to take part the year after in the TCR International Series,” Rogano said.

THE ADAC TCR GERMANY TO KICK OFF IN 2016

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ADAC will introduce a new touring car series in 2016 – the ADAC TCR Germany. Following the successful launch of the TCR concept through the TCR International Series, ADAC TCR Germany will become one of the first series to implement the new concept at a national level.

The series will be organised and promoted jointly by Engstler Motorsport and ADAC e.V as part of the ADAC GT Masters events. It is also envisaged that SPORT1 will broadcast certain ADAC TCR events in Germany.

ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk commented: “The new ADAC TCR Series fills a gap in German touring car racing. ADAC TCR Germany will make spectacular touring car racing possible at a reasonable cost and is the perfect addition to the ADAC GT Masters and ADAC Formula 4. We are confident that we can give touring car racing in Germany new dynamic with the ADAC TCR.”

Franz Engstler added: “I’m certain that ADAC TCR Germany is the right concept at the right time. The ADAC is the perfect partner and offers the series an ideal platform. I’m proud to be in a position to realise this project in cooperation with the ADAC and look forward to this fresh new challenge.”

Lars Soutschka, ADAC Director Motorsport and Classic Motoring said: “We have been very successful in introducing the ADAC Formula 4 this year, and we are now looking forward to getting a new, exciting project in German motorsport with ADAC TCR Germany, which will also form an ideal platform for young drivers to start a successful career in touring car racing. We will provide further information in the coming weeks, providing details about the race format and the calendar.”

Thats all of the news for now, keep an eye out for further updates on the world of TCR!!

All the best!

Phil!

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