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Sábado, 02 Março 2019 11:33 | Actualizado em Sábado, 16 Outubro 2021 04:47

TCR Malaysia @ Sepang
Luca Engstler is crowned the first champion

Luca Engstler has added another gem to his collection of TCR titles, as he was crowned the first ever champion for TCR Malaysia.
The young German secured the title Saturday at the end of Race 1, finishing second behind local hero Mitchell Cheah. On Suday, Engstler ended the series on a high note taking a dominant victory in Race 2.
Pole sitter Cheah sprinted into the lead at the start of Race 1, while Engstler jumped from third on the grid to second, followed by Paul Ip. After being second fastest in Qualifying, Douglas Khoo took a bad start and find himself fighting with Kai Jordan for fourth. The latter tried an overtaking manoeuvre on the outside line during lap 2, but the two cars clashed; Jordan retired with a broken rear right suspension, while Khoo lost one lap in the pits for repairs. Martin Ryba, who had taken a great start from 11th on the grid, inherited the fourth place, but lost it to Mark Darwin moments later.
Cheah managed to increase his leading margin over Engstler who was contented to finish second and secure the title; Ip completed the podium and won the Cup class.
Engstler was fifth on the top-eight reverse grid; it should have beeen sixth but advanced one place thanks to the penalty that dropped Jordan from fourth to sixth following the incident with Khoo in Race 1.
Michael Choi made good use of the pole and took the lead, but Engstler overtook him during lap 1. Ip overtook Jordan for third, but spun off and rejoined at the back. Cheah recovered to third, overtaking Ryba and Jordan; the young Malaysian passed Choi for second on lap 4, but then was unable to close in on Engstler who increased his leading margin consistently. Choi managed to resist the pressure from Jordan and Ryba, so they finished in the order to fill the Cup’s podium. Second in the class meant that Jordan claimed the Cup title.

Race 1
1. Mitchell Cheah (Liqui Moly Team Engstler, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 11 laps
2. Luca Engstler (Liqui Moly Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N), 2.079
3. Paul Ip (KCMG, Honda Civic Type R FK7), 12.292

Race 2
1. Luca Engstler (Liqui Moly Team Engstler, Hyundai i30 N), 11 laps
2. Mitchell Cheah (Liqui Moly Team Engstler, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 13.482
3. Michael Choi (Prince Racing, Honda Civic Type R FK7), 18.637

Championship points
1. Engstler 142.5 pts; 2. Jordan 68; 3. Ryba 53; 4. Cheah 48, 5. Ip 44.5

Photos: TCR Malaysia-Hussein Zain



TC America preview
The season begins in Texas

After a strong inaugural year under the name of Pirelli World Challenge, the North American sprint series has been rebranded TC America and returns this weekend with the opening event at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.
Twelve entries make up the TCR with five brands represented: Alfa Romeo, Audi, Honda, Hyundai, and Volkswagen.
FCP Euro will field two Volkswagen Golf GTI cars for Michael Hurczyn and 2018 TCR Rookie of the Year Nate Vincent; the two are poised to challenge for the championship with each having a year of TCR racing under their belts.
Longtime sportscar Ferrari outfit Risi Competizione joins the series with James Walker who will be driving an Alfa Romeo Giulietta, as the team kicks-off their touring car programme.
Both Honda and Hyundai had impressive 2018 seasons as Honda won the Drivers’ championship with Ryan Eversely and Hyundai took the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ championships. For 2019, the focus shifts to customer racing with LAP Motorsports and LA Honda World representing Honda, as Nelson Cheung drives their Civic Type R FK7. Mason Filippi, who ended the season with a pair of podiums, moved to Hyundai and will debut the new Veloster N with TFB Performance.
New for 2019, the DSG class is a battle of Audi teams. McCann Racing fields two RS 3 LMS cars for Michael McCann Jr. and Christian Cole; Alphasonic Motorsport comes from the Canadian Touring Car Championship – in which it scored one win in 2018 – with Nelson Chan and Alain Lauzière; ROWE Racing – a regular in the IMSA Challenge TCR class – runs Bryan Putt; Eddie Killeen who joined the series for last year’s season finale continues with TWOth Autosport for 2019; Todd Archer races for RS Werkes Racing.

Photos: WC Vision


Tassi and Coronel are the latest additions

Attila Tassi and Tom Coronel are the latest additions to the WTCR entry list. The young Hungarian will team up with Tiago Monteiro at KCMG, as the Hong Kong-based outfit will run two Honda Civic FK7 cars; Coronel will drive one of Comtoyou Racing's CUPRA cars, alongside Aurélien Panis.

“I’m delighted to become a Honda Racing driver and step up to the WTCR with KCMG. It’s a dream come true and I’m very grateful for this opportunity. So far in my racing career I’ve always been able to fight for victories and podiums, but I know that this will be the highest-level series I’ve ever contested,” said the 19-year-old Tassi who was classified fourth in last year’s TCR Europe.

“My contact with the team started at the end of last year,” Coronel explained. “I spoke with Kurt Mollekens who was a teammate of mine in the 1994 Opel Lotus Euroseries and currently is an engineer at Comtoyou Racing. This got me thinking and after some discussions with François Verbist and Jean-Michel Baert, we made a deal for the upcoming season. The contract also includes some test days, the first of them on 27 and 28 February when I will be driving a CUPRA at Zandvoort.” 

Photos: TCR-Photo 4 / Coronel


TCR Europe
Team Clairet Sport to run three Peugeot 308 cars

Jimmy and Teddy Clairet will race in the TCR Europe Series at the wheel of two Peugeot 308 TCR cars run by the family’s Team Clairet Sport that is managed by their father Jean-Marie, a former race winner in the Citroën, Peugeot and SEAT trophies.
Jean-Marie’s sons too have emerged as front-runners in the Renault Clio Cup and the Peugeot Racing Cup.
Jimmy, 28 years old, was classified third in the 2017 and 2018 Peugeot 308 Racing Cup, scoring five race wins. In 2016 he was one of the drivers selected by Peugeot Sport to drive the 308 in its maiden TCR appearance, at Spa-Francorchamps in the TCR International Series.
Teddy, 25 years old, is the reigning champion of the Peugeot 308 Racing Cup; after finishing runner up in 2017 he secured the 2018 title with six race wins.
The team will run a third 308 for a driver yet to be named.

Photo: Peugeot Sport


TCR Europe
JSB returns with three cars and two ladies

Julien Briché’s JSB Compétition team will compete again in the TCR Europe series; the French outfit has entered two Peugeot 308 cars and one CUPRA.
Marie Baus-Coppens, who was runner up in last year’s TCR Europe DSG Challenge will be at the wheel of a CUPRA that is now equipped with a sequential gearbox.
Another lady driver will be racing a Peugeot: Lilou Wadoux, 18 years old, who has completed her first racing seasons in the Peugeot Racing Cup since 2016 and was classified second in the 208 Junior Class in 2017.
The driver for the third car has not been named yet, although it is possible that will be raced by Julien Briché himself who scored one victory last year at Spa-Francorchamps.

Photos: TCR-Photo 4


TCR Australia
$250,000 of prize money on offer

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 total prize pool will see the winner of the inaugural series receive a career-bolstering $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.
Matt Braid, Australian Racing Group director, explained: "Prize money in motorsports is something that Australian circuit racing has never really done well. The $250,000 total prize pool is a big statement from the Australian Racing Group. We want to do motorsport differently, and this is just one of the first steps. This is fundamentally about re-investing in the sport to ensure it remains a sustainable pathway for those choosing motorsport as their career.”

Photo: TCR Australia


Great expectations
for the new Renault Mégane RS

Vuković Motorsport has worked very hard on the Renault Mégane TCR with the aim of improving performance in view of the 2019 season.
“The car has been redesigned in many parts during the past six months. The front and rear suspension have been fine-tuned, just like the transmission, the aerodynamics has been radically revised and we also have a new engine that has been developed in the mapping, fuel injection and cooling system,” Milenko Vuković said.
The Switzerland-based engineering company has now been appointed by Renault Sport as the official partner and distributor for TCR cars and parts.
“Under this agreement the 2019 car has been now renamed Renault Mégane RS TCR,” points out Vuković, adding. “We are very optimistic today and we are also excited about working together with Renault Sport. I think we have the potential to fight for the front positions in every TCR series and we will unveil our racing programme in the next days.”

Photos: TCR-Jordi Rierola


TCR DSG Endurance Championship
A night race at Misano in the frame of the DTM event

The new TCR DSG Endurance Championship, promoted in Italy by ACI Sport and run by Scuderia del Girasole, will race at night in Misano's Marco Simoncelli Circuit.
The third round of the series reserved for TCR cars fitted with DSG gearbox, will take place on Saturday evening, June 8th in the frame of the DTM event.
"With the inclusion of a round on the DTM platform, we believe we have given a particularly prestigious stage to the Italian TCR DSG Endurance Championship," explained Tarcisio Bernasconi, owner of Scuderia del Girasole.
The championship's calendar includes six 2-hour races at Monza (April 7), Vallelunga (May 5), Misano (June 8), Mugello (July 21), Imola (September 1) and Mugello (October 6).


The TCR events of the week

1 March - NGK UAETCC, Rounds 11 & 12 @ Dubai, UAE
1/3 March - TC America, Rounds 1 & 2 @ Austin, USA

Live streaming at and

Saturday: TC America, Race 1 - 14:35 local time (21:35 CET)
Sunday: TC America, Race 2 - 11:40 local time (18:40 CET)


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