The TCR International Series returns for rounds 9 and 10 of the 2017 season at the picturesque and super-fast Salzburgring in Plainfield, Austria, just 15 km east of the city of Salzburg. Salzburgring is a 15 turn, 2.6 mile (4.21km) long circuit where Attila Tassi set the qualifying track record last season with a time of 1:26.683 in a SEAT Leon. James Nash also set the race lap track record in a SEAT Leon last season with a 1:26.787 time.
This will be the third time TCR International has visited the wooded Austrian circuit, and through four races have seen Honda Civic machinery win half of those. Kevin Gleason took the race 1 victory in 2015 with Mikhail Grachev taking race 1 in 2016, both in Civics. Michel Nykjaer (SEAT, 2015) and Jean-Karl Vernay (VW, 2016) are the other winners during TCR International competition.
Vernay leads the championship standings and will look to add to that lead and continue to build on his success at the circuit from last season. He’ll have a little help as his two closest rivals in the championship, Roberto Colciago (30kg) and Stefano Comini (10kg), will be driving with success ballast after splitting wins at the previous rounds at Monza. Not only will Colciago be facing an uphill battle due to the success ballast, but the Italian will face a five-place grid penalty for race 1 stemming from an incident he caused at Monza involving Frederic Vervisch and Mat’o Homola. Comini’s ComeToYou Racing teammate, Frederic Vervisch, will be running with 20kg of ballast in his Audi RS3 LMS.
After missing the Monza rounds, both Rob Huff and Duncan Ende return to the grid. Huff was committed to the WTCC round at the Hungaroring, and Ende and Icarus Motorsport replaced their SEAT Leon gearbox. Huff will be teamed with Jean-Karl Vernay at Leopart Racing for the remainder of the season.
Salzburgring also marks the return of the Subaru WRX STi TCR to the series with Top Run Motorsports coming with Luigi Ferrara behind the wheel. After continuing development to improve the car’s reliability, Top Run recently completed a test at Adria without any issues and is confident about their potential this weekend.
The grid will be bolstered this weekend as a few new faces show up with Thomas Jager and Kissling Motorsports bringing along an Opel Astra, Gregoire Demoustier will join DG Sport’s Opel program, Mark Jedloczky and Unicorse Team enter an Alfa Romeo and Enrico Bettera and Pit Lane Competizione will enter their Audi RS3 LMS. Milovan Vesnic will make his debut, also in an Audi, run by ASK Vesnic. 23 cars in total will be on the grid.
Both races will occur on Sunday with the first 15-lap event starting at 12:55 local time.
Saturday, 09:55 – Free Practice 1, timing and streaming
Saturday, 11:55 – Free Practice 2, timing and streaming
Saturday, 14:55 – Qualifying, timing and streaming
Sunday, 12:55 – Race 1, timing and streaming
Sunday, 14:28 – Race 2, timing and streaming
(all times local, GMT +2)
For the full weekend schedule, click here.