The first ever European race of the TCR International Series will feature a grid of 19 cars in Valencia this weekend, with three new entries and two driver changes.
Following the first two Formula One supporting events of the season, in Malaysia and China respectively, the new TCR International Series will make its first visit to Europe with rounds five and six taking place in Spain this weekend.
The SEAT count rises to 11 for this weekend, with two new teams fielding young drivers. Dutch based Bas Koeten Racing will field a car for Bas Schouten, whilst JSB Compétition will run two Leóns for David Cebrián Ariza and the series’ first ever female racer, Lucile Cypriano.
There are changes amongst the existing teams as well. René Münnich, who was only entered for the first two events, is replaced by former Campos Racing driver Igor Skuz at the Honda WestCoast Racing team, whilst Campos themselves have yet to announce Skuz’s replacement in the second of the Opel Astra OPCs which they will be fielding. Jordi Oriola will, technical issues permitting, take the wheel of the team’s other Opel.
Championship leader Gianni Morbidelli will take 30 kg of success ballast into the event, having scored pole position and a first TCR race win last time out in Shanghai. As TCR success ballast is not based on championship position, but points haul at the previous meeting, Target Competition’s Andrea Belicchi will carry 20 kg of ballast, with second-placed Stefano Comini carrying 10 kg this weekend.
Free from the constraints of a Formula One timetable, Friday will feature an entire day of testing for the teams, who will be able to shakedown their cars following their return from Shanghai. Saturday morning will feature two practice sessions, with qualifying between 15:00 and 15:35 CEST (14:00 and 14:35 BST).
Sunday’s two 60 km races will take place at 12:35 and 14:05 CEST respectively (11:35 and 13:05 BST). As in the first two meetings of the season, races will be broadcast live over the internet via the official championship website at www.tcr-series.com.