A pair of Kia Cee’d TCR cars are on their way to New Zealand following the appointment of an importer for the vehicle for both sides of the Tasman.
The Pukekohe-based Choice Performance Ltd has been signed as the official agent for STARD (Stohl Advanced Research and Development), which manufacturers the TCR Kia.
While the two cars have not yet been spoken for, they are currently being prepared by STARD to be shipped to New Zealand later this year, ahead of the start of the country’s inaugural TCR season on January 17-19, 2020 at Highlands Motorsport Park.
Choice Performance, which has a partnership with dealers Andrew Simms Kia and Auckland Central Kia, is in discussions with a number of prospective drivers in Australia and New Zealand.
“Having recently returned from visiting Manfred (Stohl) and his team in Vienna I am exceptionally excited for this opportunity,” said Choice Performance’s Chris Little.
“The development of the Kia Cee’d TCR is world class and a real credit to STARD.
“We are confident of achieving strong results in the New Zealand and Australian championship with the Kia Cee’d TCR and look forward to fostering our strong relationship with STARD who are exceptionally customer friendly.”
Manfred Stohl added: “I am very pleased that we are now represented in Australia and NZ with our Stard developed KIA TCR vehicle.
“With Choice Performance and their partner Andrew Simms, who is the largest Kia Dealer in NZ, I see an incredibly strong team that, as the exclusive partner in this region, will best represent our interests and achieve a sporting success in the foreseeable future.
“Chris Little, whom I know very well from the rally scene, is also a perfect team manager for the project.”
According to the announcement from the Australian Racing Group, which promotes both TCR Australia and TCR New Zealand, Choice Performance will be “available for initial discussions” in Australia on October 11-13.
The news comes off the back of the arrival of Peugeot Sport’s decision to send a 308 TCR to the Australian season finale at The Bend next month, the arrival of a Cupra TCR in Australia, and Melbourne Performance Centre’s purchase of a fourth Audi.