New touring car race series to make Australian 2019 debut
AUSTRALIA with have a second touring car category for the first time in 18 years with the launch today of the new Touring Car Racing (TCR) Series Australia.
The first addition to the touring car scene since the Super Tourers were axed in 2000, the "hot hatch" series will see two-litre cars, like the Ford Focus and the Audi R3, go head-to-head in a Supercars support category.
The Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) confirmed the new series after granting racing rights to newly formed promoters Australian Racing Group (ARG).
To be eligible for the TCR Series a car must be a front-wheel drive C-Segment hatchback or sedan, powered by production - based turbocharged petrol or diesel engines with a capacity of up to two-litres and boasting 420Nm of torque (310 horsepower).
"We are extremely pleased to be awarded the rights to launch and promote TCR in Australia," Matt Braid, formerly of Volvo Australia and Supercars, and now director of the Australian Racing Group, said.
"TCR has proven itself to be an extremely popular, exciting and successful category in many countries around the world, and we look forward to working with competitors, manufacturers and event promoters to successfully launch the TCR series in Australia."
CAMS welcomed the newest player to Australian racing.
"We are thrilled to confirm Australian Racing Group as the category promoters for TCR in Australia and look forward to seeing them hit the ground running," CAMS boss Eugene Arocca said.
"This is a very exciting development for motorsport in Australia and already the interest in TCR has been very promising, from both a competitor and manufacturer stand point.
"We look forward to seeing TCR start off strong and go from strength-to-strength as TCR makes its mark on Australian motorsport."
TCR boss Marcello Lotti confirmed the series would start in 2019 with plans to race as a support category at both the Supercars and Shannons Nationals, Australia's two main circuit racing series.
"Now that this new series has been definitely scheduled to start in 2019 we can't wait for the opening event,'' Lotti said. "It will be a landmark moment for TCR that lands on a fourth continent after Europe, Asia and the Americas, where TCR series have already been successfully established.
"This also represents a great challenge, because Touring Car racing is hugely popular in Australia and the local motorsport 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. We wish the Australian Racing Group success in launching and promoting TCR Australia."
ARG also has the commercial and management rights for the Super 5000 series, designed as a modern interpretation of the V8-powered open-wheel Formula 5000 racing series from the 1970s.