The TCR Europe Series will see a move to a 6-race calendar for the 2018 season, a third change to the series format in as many years, further indicating the World Touring Car Championship’s transition to TCR regulations.
The trophy was awarded this year in surprise fashion to DG Sport Competition driver Aurelien Comte in a one-off individual event, having moved from a 6-race series made up of events from the various national TCR championships in 2016 (also won by DG Sport with Pierre-Yves Corthals).
This is the third official TCR regional series to be announced following the TCR Asia Series, running since the inception of TCR in 2015, and the TCR Middle East Series, which will hopefully return for a more vigorous second season next January after a weak debut year in 2017.
With the TCR International Series expected to undergo a re-branding to the “WTCR”, replacing the WTCC, factory-backed teams are set to be welcomed into the series as of 2018 and TCR Europe should cater to teams unable to compete with some of the better funded International teams, whilst also providing a ladder for drivers to progress through.
As they expect to step down from the roles of promoter and organiser of the International Series, Eurosport Events believed to be their replacement, TCR-founders Marcello Lotti and his World Sports Consulting Ltd will instead provide management for the European series and will utilise the same format as this years’ International Series with a two-part qualifying session ahead of two 25-minute sprint races, the second of which featuring a top-ten reverse grid.
“We are very pleased to add another gem to TCR’s rich crown,” commented Marcello Lotti. “The enthusiasm and competence of Paulo Ferreira, combined with the glamorous venues the series will visit, will surely make it one of the favourites of TCR teams.”
The 2018 TCR Europe Series will kick off on the 6 May 2018 at Paul Ricard, before heading across the Belgian border to Spa-Francorchamps on the 10 June. The Hungaroring and Assen proceed on the 8 July and 19 August respectively, with Monza and Barcelona rounding off the calendar on the 23 September and 21 October. All races are set to be streamed as per usual on the TCR Series YouTube channel, whilst TV viewers will be able to watch via Motorsport TV.