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Audi keen to establish customer TCR Australia presence

Sunday 21st April, 2019 - 1:50pm

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An Audi RS3 TCR

Audi Sport is keen to establish a presence in TCR Australia with local customer outfit Melbourne Performance Centre (MPC).

The touring car category launches in Australia this year with six manufacturers already represented on the grid, including entries from Renault, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Honda and Alfa Romeo.

An example of Audi’s RS3 TCR machine arrived on Australian shores in 2017 having been sent over by the German marque for promotional activities.

It remains at MPC’s workshop, with the company having secured the rights to import and run Volkswagen Group (VAG) TCR cars in Australia.

“The Audi RS3 LMS has been successful in North and South America, Europe and Asia already, so only Australia was a blind spot,” Head of Audi Sport customer racing, Chris Reinke, told Speedcafe.com.

“It’s great that TCR has arrived in (Australia) now. We are keen to establish a presence in this large continent as well through our trusted friends from MPC. 

“However, any national commitment is always strictly bound to the aspect of customer racing – that’s the spirit of TCR. 

“So you will never see an official Audi Sport car or Audi Sport drivers in TCR Australia. 

“You would see national sales organisations or even local dealers backing campaigns in many countries. We only sell the cars to our customers and ensure a premium service.”

Though yet to sell a car, MPC has already scaled up its operation in anticipation of the TCR series kicking off in Australia.

The company will support at least two entries courtesy of Jason Bright, who purchased a pair of 2017-spec Volkswagen Golfs out of Asia.

“We bought another B-double that’ll be a specific TCR truck, so very similar to what we do with the GT3 program,” MPC boss Troy Russell told Speedcafe.com.

“We’ll run a full parts package that customers can then buy a car (and) don’t have to carry any spare parts.”

Though responsible for the entire VAG range in Australia, Russell suggests the inventory of spares needed to service cars from Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, and Skoda is not as onerous as it first seems.

“It’s not as big a challenge as you think, because 70% of the parts cross over,” Russell explained.

“So, engines, gear boxes, all that stuff actually crosses over, Suspension, it’s only really body work that doesn’t.

“At this stage, we’ve got Audi and Volkswagen stuff coming, we haven’t got any Cupra body work coming, because we haven’t sold a car.

“We’ve got a big shipment on the way, so come the first round we’ll be fully stocked ready to go with everything that we could need.”

The TCR Australia season will begin at Sydney Motorsport Park on May 17-19.

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