THE expansion of TCR (Touring Car Racing) is showing no sign of slowing, with the successful category ready to land ‘down under’ following confirmation the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) has signed a five year deal.
WSC Ltd, the organisation behind TCR, and (CAMS) have reached agreement for the development of TCR Australia, expected to begin in 2019, with the local governing body on the hunt for a promoter, with expressions of interest now open.
The Touring Car Racing series is an exciting, international category, featuring a wide range of world-renowned vehicles, many of which would be a daily drive for a number of motor sport fans. No manufacturer owned ‘works’ teams are allowed to compete.
Iconic brands such as Alfa Romeo, Audi, Fiat, Hyundai, Honda, Kia, Mercedes, Subaru and Volkswagen race in the series, which operates in a multitude of countries, including Thailand, Russia, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the Middle East and the UK.
With standardised rules and regulations the world over, participants in every series have the opportunity to compete in other countries, as well as taking part in the IMSA Continental Sports Car Challenge, the global 24H Series, and the Nurburgring 24 Hour.
We contacted a number of the car makers already taking part in the series, with Peugeot Australia PR and Communications Manager Tyson Bowen confirming the company would review its potential involvement.
“We’re very interested in looking at it as it moves towards being a category in Australia,” he said. “Peugeot Sport already has the facilities and the knowledge to build [customer] cars for the series.”
Hyundai Australia are also keen, despite having no firm plans in place as yet.
“We are very interested in the category and are studying the possibility of running a TCR car in Australia if a local series starts in 2019,” a spokesperson said.
“We’ve been very impressed with the i30 N TCR’s performance overseas, not least its win on debut in China! We are confident the car is well-engineered and very competitive and we look forward to developing our plans further over the coming months.”
Rival manufacturers including Subaru Australia have confirmed they have no plans at present to race in the series. Kia Australia too, are not committed to any form of motor sport locally, but were aware there was potential for a private owner to participate.
Likewise, Honda Australia have also stated that while they welcome the arrival of Touring Car Racing in Australia, they have no plans to participate in an official capacity. That said, private teams could easily enter cars from any number of these car makers.
“We are absolutely delighted. The deal with CAMS, which is the driving force behind the success of Australian motor sport, adds a fourth continent to those – Europe, Asia and the Americas – where TCR series have already been established,” WSC CEO Marcello Lotti said.
“This is also a great challenge, because motor sport is hugely popular in Australia and the local fans are enthusiastic and competent. We are confident that they will soon learn to love TCR just as has happened with their fellow fans across the rest of the world.”
CAMS CEO Eugene Arocca, said the series would be an exciting development for Australian motor sport.
“TCR Australia will provide the opportunity for affordable, competitive action in cars that are direct derivatives of popular road going cars. We are looking forward to working with manufacturers and competitors to ensure the success of this category,” he said.
“The worldwide interest in TCR has been very encouraging and we anticipate that the competitive Australian car buying market will see a number of manufacturers support the category.”