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Engstler given dispensation to run Audi TTs in TCR

Liqui Moly Team Engstler have been given dispensation to run a pair of Audi TT Cup cars in the TCR International Series, with the German team running two brand new TTs and a SEAT León Cup racer.

Engstler motorsport had originally planned to run a trio of Volkswagen Golfs in the new series, but switched to a trio of SEATs earlier this year. Now the former World Touring Car Championship team will run a pair of Audi TT Cup cars, having received special dispensation from TCR promoters WSC Ltd.

“We authorized the team to use the Audi TT, because according to their marketing strategy, Liqui Moly Team Engstler is bound to German cars,” explained WSC CEO Marcello Lotti. “We have decided to grant the team the authorization to campaign the new Audi TT and to show that we consider them as a valuable partner in the launch of this new racing series; and we could trust this approach because the TT technically conforms to the TCR concept totally with the exception for the body shell.”

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German Team Principal Franz Engstler and Russian Mikhail Grachev will race the Audis in the season opener in Sepang next weekend, whilst the third car, a SEAT León, will be driven by Italian Lorenzo Veglia.

Engstler Motorsport have previously had a long-standing partnership with BMW, having campaigned 3 Series cars in the WTCC and ETCC between 2005 and 2014.

The team’s contract with oil and lubrication manufacturer Liqui Moly specifically dictates that the team must race German cars. As such, with the team’s Volkswagen’s not ready for the start of the season, Engstler Motorsport have been allowed to enter a brace of Audis.

As such, discussions were held with Audi Sport and TCR bosses and a TT Cup Car was tested during the recent Balance of Performance (BoP) tests in Barcelona. The Ingolstadt manufacturer had the week previously tested its new Cup racer at the Spanish circuit, and one car stayed behind to allow for TCR testing.

The Audi TT Cup Car conforms to the TCR technical regulations with the exception of its body shape, as the car is a three-door coupé.

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