The 2015 TCR International Series moves on from the ultra-fast circuit of Monza in Italy last weekend to the high speed track of the Salzburgring in Austria for rounds 11 & 12 of its inaugural season.
So far this year, TCR has provided close and exciting touring car racing at each of its previous venues and this weekend promises more of the same from the 2 Litre Turbocharged machines. In fact, the Austrian venue holds some good memories for some of the series current drivers.
In 2014, WestCoast Racing‘s Gianni Morbidelli took Pole Position in a TC1 Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze against the might if the Citroen Team when the World Touring Car Championship visited the track. Target Competition driver Michel Nykjaer secured his two European Touring Car Cups at the track, driving a Super 2000 Chevrolet Lacetti whilst Craft-Bamboo driver Pepe Oriola hounded eventual 2011 ETCC Winner Fabrizio Giovanardi during a very wet weekend.
After his double victory and pole position last weekend, Morbidelli will carry the maximum amount of 30kgs of ballast aboard his Honda Civic. Craft-Bamboo driver Jordi Gene will carry 20kgs of success ballast for being the second best points scorer at Monza whilst Target Competition’s Andrea Belicchi will carry 10kgs of ballast for being the third best best points scorer.
Keep an eye out for Fernando Monje in the Campos Racing Racing Opel Astra this weekend. The Astra was very fast in a straightline at Monza and the long straights of the Salzburgring will again offer the Spaniard a chance to fight the established front runners of WestCoast Racing, Target Competition and Craft-Bamboo Racing. At Proteam Racing, Diego Romanini returns to the team since his first appearance in the Onyx Engineering built Ford Focus, replacing British driver Tom Boardman, who drove the car at Monza.
Another driver who rejoins the series in Austria is Bas Schouten who will be at the wheel of a SEAT Leon run by the Bas Koeten Racing in cooperation with ST Motorsport. The Dutch outfit made its maiden appearance in the championship in the third race meeting of the season at Valencia, where Schouten only missing out on a podium result in the second race due to a fuel pump failure on the last lap.
The two Free Practice sessions and Qualifying will take place on Saturday whilst both races will take place on Sunday and can be viewed live and online at www.tcr-series.com. Motors TV will have a delayed highlights programme covering both races at 6.30pm on Sunday.