During 2019, The Checkered Flag will be rounding up the news and results from the various TCR Series around the world on a weekly basis.
This weeks review includes The TCR UK Touring Car Championship, The TCR Scandinavia Championship, The TCR Asia Series, The ADAC TCR Germany Series, The TC America Series, The TCR Australia Series, The TCR Europe Touring Car Series and The FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR).
Here’s a look at all of the action and announcements from the last seven days.
Attila Tassi completes Honda WTCR lineup with KCMG
Attila Tassi, will embark on his first full-season campaign in the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) this year. Having debuted as a wildcard in 2018, the TCR Europe Touring Car Series race winner will step up to the world championship of touring car racing on a full-time basis in 2019.
The Honda-backed prodigy will drive a Civic Type R TCR for the Hong-Kong racing outfit, KCMG. The announcement ensures a degree of continuity for Tassi, as he drove for the team in the TCR Europe Touring Car Series last year. He’ll also be able to draw upon a wealth of experience from his previously-confirmed team-mate for 2019, Tiago Monteiro.
With KCMG joining Munnich Motorsport in running Honda machinery this year, the Japanese marque’s four-car quota has been fulfilled.
Coronel switches to Comtoyou CUPRA for 2019
Popular Dutch racer, Tom Coronel, will be back for his eighteenth full campaign at the top tier of international touring car racing during 2019.
The 46 year-old will partner up with Belgian team, Comtoyou Racing, where he will pilot a Cupra TCR alongside the previously-confirmed French youngster, Aurelien Panis.
The move marks a shift from last year, as he will leave behind the Honda Civic Type R TCR prepared by Boutsen Ginion Racing that he competed with throughout the 2018 season. The year was far from straightforward for Coronel, who ended the season 23rd in the drivers’ championship standings.
With that in mind, a change of environment and machinery may not be such a bad thing as he looks to recover his front-running form from years gone by.
Team Clairet Sport and JSB Compétition to run Peugeot’s in TCR Europe
Team Clairet Sport has announced that they will make their debut in the 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, running up to three Peugeot 308 TCR cars.
Jean-Marie Clairet confirmed that the first two cars have been filled and will be driven by his sons Teddy Clairet and Jimmy Clairet.
Meanwhile, Julien Briché’s JSB Compétition has also confirmed that they will return to the TCR Europe Touring Car Series for the 2019 season, expanding their lineup from one to three cars for the new campaign.
After Briché contested last season in a Peugeot 308 TCR as a single entry, the team has expanded its line up for the new season by adding a second Peugeot for female racer Lilou Wadoux.
Adding to the lineup is last years TCR Europe Touring Car Series DSG Cup runner up Marie Baus-Coppens. Having competed in the series last year at the wheel of a Cupra TCR DSG, the car has been upgraded for this season and is equipped with a sequential gearbox.
Luca Engstler will return to defend TCR Asia title
Engstler Motorsport has confirmed that the reigning TCR Asia and TCR Malaysia champion Luca Engstler will return to defend his TCR Asia Series title in 2019.
Engstler clinched the title last year after securing four victories in a Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR, whilst the German also contested the ADAC TCR Germany Series in Europe.
Engstler recently won the TCR Malaysia Series title in a Hyundai i30 N TCR, and he has now been confirmed as returning to Asia later this year to campaign in the second season of TCR Asia.
Engstler Motorsport also takes on the role of official parts agent for Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing with the team also able to offer complete cars for sale along with technical support from a base at the Sepang International Circuit.
Mitchell Cheah switches to ADAC TCR Germany for 2019
Mitchell Cheah has confirmed that he will switch to the ADAC TCR Germany Series for the 2019 season.
Cheah finished second in the TCR Asia Series last year and secured a top four in the inaugural TCR Malaysia Series despite only taking part in the final meeting of the campaign. He secured a win and second place at the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
A full season in the ADAC TCR Germany Series will be followed by Cheah’s wild-card outing in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) finale at Sepang in December.
Zest Racecar Engineering exploring an entry in 2019 TCR UK Cup class
Zest Racecar Engineering has confirmed that the team is exploring an entry in the 2019 TCR UK Touring Car Championship. In particular, the team is looking at entering the recently-announced TCR UK Cup with its DSG CUPRA TCR.
One of the first UK teams to buy a TCR car, Zest has links with SEAT cars that go back to 2006, when it entered the UK SEAT Leon championship.
Since then, the team has contested a wide range of series across Europe and has specialised in Endurance racing over the last few years, while also providing technical support for teams in FIA GT, Heritage Classic Saloon Cars and the Renault UK Clio Cup amongst a wide range of formulae.
Brink Motorsport add third Audi for TCR Scandinavia Championship
Brink Motorsport has confirmed a third Audi RS 3 LMS has been entered in the 2019 TCR Scandinavia championship season for 16-year-old Hannes Morin.
Hannes Morin‘s cousin is Philip Morin who drove for PWR in the STCC last season and announced his retirement as a driver late last year. Philip Morin‘s role in the team will be as a driver coach.
“It feels great to have Philip by my side as driver coach. He raced at this level last year and knows what it takes,” said Morin.
The team has already announced its two-car entry in the series and is yet to confirm the identity of the remaining two drivers for the 2019 season.
Risi Competizione join forces with Alfa Romeo for 2019 TC America Series
James Walker, Jr. has chosen Risi Competizione to support his 2019 TCR programme in the TC America Series where the 22-year racing veteran will be driving an Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR.
Coming from the Ferrari Challenge series, Walker is excited about this new venture together.
“I have been focusing on competing in the TCR category since its inception in 2017 and I am thrilled that Risi Competizione is able to continue on this journey with me,” said Walker
Twenty-two years of racing galvanizes the importance of surrounding yourself with the best people and best equipment. Risi does both beyond compare. Our two successful years together in Ferrari Challenge will serve as a fantastic platform to launch into TCR.”
Risi Competizione has a 20-year history and an undeniable standing as a leader in racing with numerous global championships, endurance and sprint victories, and an impeccable reputation that goes with the name.
TCR Australia to award $250,000 prize money
The Australian Racing Group announced that the 2019 TCR Australia Series will carry one of the country’s richest-ever motorsport prize pools, with a total $250,000 available.
This approach is part of ARG’s philosophy around TCR Australia, reinforcing its commitment to nurturing and developing the talent that competes in the category. The aim is to provide assistance to ensure the commercial sustainability of talented drivers and teams as they pursue opportunities and development within Australia and beyond.
The implementation of this significant prize money, coupled with the live, free to air broadcast deal on SBS of all races, is critical to building drivers, teams and sponsors profiles and ensure the category’s future sustainable success.
The total prize pool will see the winner of the inaugural series receive a $100,000 championship award. Second and third place will receive $50,000 and $25,000 respectively, while the winner of the Michelin Cup (for privateer entries) will be awarded $25,000.