LUCKY 13 FOR TCR UK SEASON OPENER
The TCR concept is the brainchild of Marcello Lotti, the man behind the most recent incarnation of the FIA World Touring Championship. Intended to recreate the ‘pyramid’ of Touring Car racing seen with Super Touring and Super 2000, the idea behind TCR is that teams can compete using the same car in national, regional and international championships. Launched in mid-2014, the concept has grown rapidly with over 600 TCR cars produced so far while over thirty championships have now adopted the TCR Technical Regulations.
TCR UK is the latest TCR national championship and it launches here at Silverstone this weekend. The series follows the successful format of the TCR International Series, with Free Practice and Qualifying on Saturday and two thirty-minute races on Sunday. In all, there will be seven race weekends that visit the country’s premier racing circuits before the championship wraps up at Donington Park in October.
In all, fourteen car brands have produced TCR cars so far and more are currently studying the concept. The cars are all front-wheel drive, so-called ‘C-Segment’ hatchbacks or saloons and are powered by turbocharged petrol engines of two litres or less that produce around 350hp.
Among the cars to watch will be the Hyundai i30 N TCR of Lewis Kent, the first driver to sign up for the championship. The Hyundai was only launched at the end of 2017, but Touring Car legends Gabriele Tarquini and Alain Menu were responsible for its development and, to nobody’s surprise, the i30 proved itself to be a race winner on its debut at Zhejiang in China. There are two different Honda Civic models on the grid today, with Finlay Crocker in one of the brand new Civic Type-R TCR cars and Ollie Taylor and Howard Fuller in the older model Civic TCR, run by Pyro Motorsport and Sean Walkinshaw Racing respectively. DPE Motorsport has entered two Alfa Romeo Giuliettas, built by Romeo Ferraris in Italy, for its pair of BTCC drivers Aiden Moffat and Derek Palmer Jnr, while Darelle Wilson will drive a Vauxhall Astra developed by Germany’s Kissling Motorsport.
The recently-launched SEAT sub-brand CUPRA is represented by a number of cars competing in the DSG Trophy, in which the winner will receive a free upgrade to a sequential transmission in readiness for the 2019 season. Carl Swift and Stewart Lines are among the first drivers to battle it out for DSG honours. Finally, there are a number of overseas teams and drivers who’ve made the trip to Silverstone this weekend. TCR International Series stalwarts WestCoast Racing from Sweden has entered Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR cars for siblings Jessica and Andreas Bäckman and former TCR International Series entrant Dan Lloyd, while Finland’s LMS Racing is running Olli Kangas in the CUPRA TCR that finished third in the recent 24H event here.
The TCR Balance of Performance system should guarantee close racing this weekend and we hope you enjoy being a little part of British racing history. TCR UK might be a brand new championship, but we’re here to stay! For more information about the championship, visit tcruk.co.uk