A new breed of touring cars entered the Australian motorsport landscape as TCR Australia held its inaugural round at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The rapidly growing global TCR platform is formed around production-based turbo-charged two litre, four cylinder, front wheel drive hatchbacks and sedans, with 14 manufacturers already committed to homologating cars.
TCR is now the base regulations for WTCR which has taken over from the FIA World Touring Car Championship, joining several national and regional championships.
Interest in the seven-round category, backed heavily by promoters Australian Racing Group (ARG), has been steadily increasing with two Supercars teams, Kelly Racing and Garry Rogers Motorsport, acquiring four cars each to run.
Matt Stone Racing is also operating two Volkswagen Golfs while Andre Heimgartner is the first Supercars full-timer to race in the series, joining a grid of experienced competitors, rising stars and new faces to touring car racing.
Sydney Motorsport Park provided motorsport fans a first chance to experience the category, which is renowned for its action packed 30 minute sprint races, which were broadcast around the nation live on SBS and via the Shannons Nationals live stream.
A bumper crowd, believed to be the biggest Shannons Nationals crowd in recent history, attended the history making event.
Former Supercars veteran Jason Bright took out the maiden win in what was largely processional Race 1 before Will Brown came from behind to win two frantic races on Sunday, which featured a mix of overtaking and incidents.
The general consensus among spectators was that the event was a success with fans enjoying seeing a variety of new touring car machinery and the close racing particularly on show in Races 2 and 3, which were separated by just a 30 minute break.
There is, however, plenty of room for improvement with teams and drivers yet to understand the new breed of front wheel drive cars, while the series itself will look to sharpen up several areas of its product.
Speedcafe.com wants to know what you thought of TCR Australia’s debut. Did it deliver entertainment or were you left underwhelmed by the nation’s new touring car series?
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