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TCR global boss supports Bathurst enduro plans

Tom Howard

Wednesday 12th June, 2019 - 3:00pm

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A TCR enduro at Bathurst is gathering support

TCR global boss Marcello Lotti would support plans for a standalone international TCR endurance event at Bathurst that could include the WTCR World Touring Car Cup.

A move to bring the growing touring car class to Mount Panorama is gathering momentum with TCR Australia promoters, the Australian Racing Group (ARG) and the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) behind a bid to secure the rights to a fifth event at the famous circuit from 2020 onwards.

ARG and CAMS are among three candidates including Supercars and Mountain Motor Sports that will submit a detailed proposal to Bathurst Regional Council (BRC) this week, which will then decide whether to award the rights to one of the bidders.

The TCR bid is understood to centre around a 500km endurance race designed to attract 50-plus TCR cars from across the world.

Lotti, who witnessed last weekend’s TCR Australia round at Phillip Island, would be in favour of a special 500km TCR enduro at Bathurst.

TCR global boss Marcello Lotti with ARG director Matt Braid at Phillip Island

“It is a bit strange to speak about, because I don’t have enough information,” said Lotti.

“What I can tell you is my opinion – I think it is a great track, I think this is a circuit that all drivers and teams dream to race at. 

“Basically, it’s one of the top legendary circuits, especially for touring cars.

“If we are to consider something like that, it’s great for TCR but, it has to be… I don’t think part of a national championship or part of the regional championship. 

“It has to be one event, standalone, with a good format to welcome as many TCR (cars) as you can. Because you cannot do an event like that and only have 25 cars. 

“I think you have to find a format like a 500 or something like that, so you can welcome over 50 cars easily, coming from America, Europe, everywhere.”

The founder of the TCR platform has suggested that the bill for such an event could be complemented by sprint races from WTCR or a TCR regional series. 

CAMS has already expressed its desire to bring WTCR to Bathurst as a way to help grow the front wheel drive touring car category.

“I think standalone (race), and after you can finish the menu of the day with, why not, WTCR or another TCR international sprint race,” added Lotti.

“But speaking about a dedicated event for this track, I think 100 percent it has to be a 500, to be international, to completely attract worldwide audience and the TCR community. 

“Today more than 24 million are connecting and following TCR in the different championships. This is the target for running an event like that.”

Meanwhile, rival Bathurst fifth event bidders Supercars and Mountain Motor Sports have elected not to disclose their plans.

Speedcafe.com understands Supercars intends to put on a Goodwood Festival of Speed style of event, while Mountain Motor Sports, which normally organises tarmac rally events, is believed be tabling a historic themed meeting.   

BRC had previously forecast August as the time when it would make its final decision.

Mount Panorama currently hosts two Supercars-promoted events in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, and two promoted by Yeehah Events in the Bathurst 6 Hour and Challenge Bathurst.

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