Grid set for TCR Asia Pacific Cup at Albert Park
A 22 car field of turbo-charged TCR rockets will take to the Albert Park street track for the 2020 TCR Asia Pacific Cup, starting tomorrow.
Supporting the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, a mix of seven different car brands will take on three races around the 5.3km street track, with a mix of local and international racers.
The field has finalised after three late additions, including Garth Tander, who will drive a brand-new Audi RS 3 LMS.
Purchased by Jamac Racing and run by the Melbourne Performance Centre, the new car’s only track time has been as a ride car in Germany for the factory Audi team.
Tander, a three times Bathurst 1000 winner, competed in three TCR Australia events last year, scoring an impressive five podiums from his nine starts.
Joining Tander at MPC is Hamish Ribarits, who returns to the team in the #100 Audi RS 3 LMS.
It will be Ribarits third race meeting in the TCR Series and second in the Audi. He raced with success at Phillip Island last year, finishing with a podium result in his maiden race weekend in the category.
He also drove a Holden Astra for Kelly Racing at Winton, ensuring that despite the fact that he has never raced at Albert Park, he has a good level of experience in these front wheel drive cars.
Another significant change is that Wall Racing’s Honda driver Paul Ip will not compete. Work commitments is keeping the Hong Kong-based driver out of the country and will be replaced by Takuya Shirasaka.
The 35 year old Japanese driver has competed in various sports car and TCR races around the world, and this will be his Australian racing debut.
Ip is set to return to Australia to compete in the opening round of the series at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 2729.
Joining Shirasaka as the other international entrants include Jack Milligan (New Zealand, Audi), Rene Munnich (Germany, Honda), Stan van Oord (Netherlands, Audi) and Julien Briche (France, Peugeot).
In terms of leading locals, the grid includes reigning carsales TCR Australia Series champion Will Brown, as well as former Supercars regulars Tander (Audi), Michael Caruso (Alfa Romeo), James Moffat (Renault) and Jason Bargwanna (Peugeot).
Two practice sessions and qualifying will be held on Thursday, followed by one race each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.