Wildcards flock to Monza as TCR Europe finale looms

by James Bowers

The 2019 TCR Europe Series will come to a close this weekend, with Monza set to host the final showdown between championship contenders, Josh Files and Julien Briche.

As we’ve seen in the past, this high-profile time of the season tends to attract an influx of one-off competitors, and this year is no exception.

One of the most positive stories to emerge is the return of Norwegian superstar, Stian Paulsen. The fan favourite has been hamstrung by financial woes throughout 2019, meaning that he hasn’t been able to compete since the early part of the year. Now though, he and his family-run team are back, and hoping to attract the eye of potential sponsors for 2020.

Elsewhere, Brutal Fish Racing will expand from two cars to a four-car entry for this event. TCR Europe regulars, Daniel Lloyd and Martin Ryba, will be joined by Australia’s Josh Burdon, and Hong-Kong based racer, Paul Ip.

Comtoyou Racing will also double their entry for this event. Gilles Magnus is set to be joined by Moroccan racer, Sami Taoufik, in a second Audi RS3. Taoufik recently made his TCR debut at the Sachsenring, where he showed impressive pace amongst the German series regulars.

Another driver who has travelled a long distance to take part this weekend, is Guilherme Salas from Brazil. Salas will partner up with Vukovic Motorsport, taking over the reigns of the Renault Megane RS TCR from impressive rookie, Jack Young.

Polish driver, Albert Legutko, will compete in his privately-entered older-spec Honda Civic FK2, while the TCR Russia Series will have two representatives at the Italian circuit in the form of Klim Gavrilov and Grigory Burlutskiy. Gavrilov has performed well at this level in the past, so expect his eye-catching Audi to be in the mix. Burlutskiy meanwhile has also shown pace in his domestic championship, and will pilot a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR for Carville Racing.

Sadly, Tom Coronel, Alex Morgan and Zsolt Szabo will not be competing this time out, however the addition of these eight extra competitors still ensures a huge thirty-two car entry list.

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