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Quarta, 02 Janeiro 2019 23:13 | Actualizado em Quarta, 12 Agosto 2020 21:15

The Audi RS 3 LMS is the TCR Model of the Year

In TCR China's final race at Guangdong, Falco Lau and Gary Lo drove the Audi RS 3 LMS run by Champ X T.A. Motorsport to the third place, scoring the points that sanctioned the German car as the 2018 TCR Model of the Year.
The title, awarded by WSC, allocates points to the different model cars in all the TCR-sanctioned races of the season. Points are adjusted by coefficients that take into account the level of the series, the number of cars at the start and the number of brands represented.
The Audi RS 3 LMS scored 7213.50 points, beating the Honda Civic Type R (7055.75) and last year’s winner CUPRA/SEAT León (6855.25).

Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing commented: “It’s a great honour for Audi Sport that the RS 3 LMS has won this prestigious worldwide classification out of the twelve manufacturers of TCR cars. What is of particular significance is that this award respects not only the sporting, but also the commercial success. Beside the on-track success, Audi Sport sticks to the true spirit of customer racing and has already built more than 160 TCR cars being fielded by customers around the world. It’s a testament to the success of WSC’s worldwide TCR category, whose number of series is still growing.”

During the 2018 season the Audi RS 3 LMS cars totalled 684 race-starts over 17 TCR series, claiming 43 wins.
The most notable successes were 6 race wins in WTCR and those achieved by Compass Racing (1-2-3 in the IMSA Continental Challenge), Dmitry Bragin and Aleksey Dudukalo (first and second in TCR Russia), Jean-Karl Vernay (TCR Benelux champion and runner up in TCR Europe), Niels Langeveld (third in TCR Germany), BRP Audi Mie (third in Super Taikyu).

2018 TCR Model of the Year – final standings (top-six)
1. Audi RS 3 LMS              7213.50 pts
2. Honda Civic Type R       7055.75
3. Cupra/SEAT León          6855.25
4. Volkswagen Golf GTI     6595.25
5. Hyundai i30 N                5813.50
6. Peugeot 308                  3100.50   

Photos: TCR China



TCR China @ Guangdong
Alex Hui and Sunny Wong grab the title 

TeamWork Motorsport's Alex Hui and Sunny Wong grabbed the TCR China title in the series final event at Guangdong International Circuit.
Back-to-back victories scored by Hui in Race 2 and the pair in Race 3, helped them to jump on top of the standings ahead of MacPro Racing's Henry Ho and Eurico De Jesus who did not take part in the finale due to customs issues.
However, it was not an easy game for the Hongkongers who failed to clinch the title in Race 1, when Wong's Volkswagen Golf GTI retired with gearbox problems.
That first race was dominated by Freely Racing's Ma Qing Hua who claimed the maiden victory in China for the Romeo Ferraris-built Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Ma pipped Wong at the start and never looked back, winning with a comfortable margin ahead of the Golf cars of Li Lin (Leo Racing) and Tian Li Ying (HE Racing).
In Race 2, Hui accomplished his mission in style, leading from lights to flag and securing the title. Li Si Cheng (Leo Racing) and Li Xue Feng (HE Racing) finished behind him, making an all-Volkswagen podium.
Ma Qing Hua provided another show in the first part of the 60-minute Race 3, building a 25-second lead before handing the Giulietta to Xia Yi Li in the compulsory pit-stop. However, Xia beached the Italian car onto the gravel with 25 minutes left, handing a comfortable victory to Hui and Wong.
The Leo Racing Golf of Li Lin and Li Si Cheng obtained its third second place of the day and the podium was completed by the Champ X T.A. Motorsport Audi RS 3 LMS shared by Falco Lau and Gary Lo.

Photos: TCR China


TCR China
The word to the champions

Alex Hui: "I took off well in Race 2 and didn’t have much pressure. I just controlled the pace safely brought the car home. It was good to seal the championship with one race to spare. I had a good start in Race 3 and held off Ma Qing Hua for quite a few laps, which was good racing. He got by in the end, but I knew we had a good chance to catch the Alfa Romeo back in the second half of the race and keep our enduro tally. It's been a great year. We had some difficulties earlier in the season finding a good balance for our sprint races, because we only had one car to find set-ups, and work with the mixed compound tires that we have to use during a weekend."

Sunny Wong: "I had a gearbox problem in Race 1, so the championship job was put back in Alex’s hands, and he did it perfectly in Race 2. After that, we could both can enjoy the endurance race without any pressure. This weekend we were not only focusing on the finale, but also practicing a few different changes for the upcoming 24H Dubai race, which is in two weeks' time. We've finished on a high in 2018, and are ready for more challenges right from the start of 2019.”

Photo: TCR China


TCR’s global statistics keep on growing

2018, the fourth season of TCR competition, marked a further expansion of the category on a global level. The agreement between WSC Ltd, the FIA and Eurosport Events gave birth to the WTCR – Touring Car World Cup, while new series were launched in Europe, UK, Korea and North America.

246 TCR-sanctioned races were held in 29 countries (39 in 2015, 141 in 2016 and 216 in 2017) encompassing 26 series (18 in 2017).
The series with the largest participation was TCR Germany that featured 27.9 cars on average per event, followed by WTCR (26.5), TCR Europe (25.1), TCR Italy (23.7) and TCR Scandinavia (20.3).

689 drivers from 49 countries took part in at least one race (289 in 2016 and 539 in 2017). Jean-Karl Vernay was the Stakhanovite of the year, totalling 45 starts between WTCR, TCR Europe and endurance races.

156 drivers claimed race wins. The list is led by TCR Asia and Middle East champion Luca Engstler with 12 victories, ahead of Vernay and TCR UK champion Daniel Lloyd with 8 wins apiece; TCR China champion Alex Hui follows in fourth position with 7 wins.

12 different brands of car manufacturers were represented during the season and 9 of them won races. The most winning car was the CUPRA/SEAT León with 53 victories from 915 race starts, followed by the Honda Civic Type R (49) and the Volkswagen Golf GTI (46).



IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge
Two teams join with Honda Civic cars

Two teams will join the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Series for the full 2019 season running Honda Civic Type R FK8 cars: Atlanta Speedwerks and Hype Motorsport Group.
Based close to Road Atlanta, Atlanta Speedwerks is owned by Todd Lamb who said: “I’m really happy to be returning to IMSA and the TCR class, which is an outstanding platform. I raced a Honda Civic in World Challenge when they won the Manufacturers Championship with Compass Racing, so when we were deciding what manufacturer to align with, it was great to already know so many of the guys at HPD to move forward with the Civic.”
Lamb will co-drive with Brian Henderson, who has raced with Atlanta Speedwerks in Global Mazda MX-5 Cup competition and has experience in NASCAR road races as well.
The Hype Motorsport Group of Clermont, Florida has come together to put forth an entry with driver’s Jett Noland and Victor Gonzalez Jr.
“We are excited to be entering the series in 2019 with Jett and Victor behind the wheel of our Honda,” said team owner Greg Noland.
Jett Noland added: “This is a great step for my career. The team has been hard at work developing our Honda in the off-season and I think it will show on the racetrack.”
Gonzalez Jr echoed: "I am thankful for the opportunity to run the full season with Jett Noland. I’d like to thank Greg and Lori Noland for all their support in establishing this team and allowing me to manage Jett’s driver development.”


IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge
KMW and TMR to run an Alfa Romeo

KMW Motorsports and TMR Engineering have joined forces to run an Alfa Romeo Gulietta TCR in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge; the car will be driven by Roy Block and Tim Lewis Jr.
“We are excited to have Tim and Roy representing our team in 2019,” said team principal Louis Milone. “This is a historic season as we are bringing Alfa Romeo to professional endurance racing in North America. I cannot imagine a more exciting season than the one ahead of us.”
Block and Lewis Jr. have put in over 1000km of testing each in the Gulietta built by Romeo Ferraris.
“It is fair to say that not many TCR teams have completed so many miles on the new Michelin tyres for 2019. That should certainly allow us to hit the ground running when the transporter doors open in a few weeks,” said KMW Motorsport's Kevin Wheeler.
The car is expected to appear at this weekend's test at Daytona.


The IMSA test in Daytona opens TCR’s 2019 season

The 2019 season for TCR competitors will get underway Friday with the first of three days of testing at Daytona International Speedway.
The traditional event ‘Roar before the Rolex 24’ gives the opportunity to the teams to test in view of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge’s opener: the Daytona 4-hour race on January 25th.
This weekend’s event will include six hours of testing split in as many sessions between Friday and Sunday.
Nine TCR teams appear on the provisional entry list for a total of four Audi RS 3 LMS and Honda Civic Type R cars, plus one Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
The Alfa is run by KMW Motorsport with TMR Engineering; the Honda teams are HART, Atlanta Speedwerks and La Honda World Racing (two cars), while the Audi cars have been entered by eEuroparts ROWE Racing (two), JDC-Miller Motorsports and Roadshagger Racing.



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