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Opel Astra TCR racks up further testing mileage

Opel’s new Astra TCR car has completed further winter testing mileage, with the car completing more than 250 laps of the Estoril circuit in Portugal recently.

Opel have embarked on a programme of winter testing for the new TCR car, which will be run in at least the TCR Germany and TCR International Series’. The German marque have carried out testing in both Portugal and The Netherlands, where the car ran at the Zandvoort circuit.

“It was a good test,” said Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott. “The timeline is still very tight, but we are on schedule. The Astra TCR ran reliably at the last tests in Zandvoort and Estoril, and its performing well.

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“Now we’re working on fine-tuning details before the first vehicles are delivered to our customer teams at the end of February.

“We still have lots of work ahead of us before our TCR debut. But I’m already looking forward to the coming season. TCR is exactly what the teams and fans want. Thrilling, breathtakingly close motorsport featuring cars the spectators can identify with. This approach is a surefire success.”

Opel Motorsport Technical Director Dietmar Metrich added that the manufacturer, together with development partner Kissling Motorsport, have been focussing in particular on the front axle performance.

“On a racing car with around 330 hp and front-wheel drive, this is a key component,” said Metrich. “All the longitudinal and lateral forces of a TCR car, besides the braking and steering, including the acceleration, act upon both front wheels. And this is not only about the lap times, it is also about tyre wear.

“It’s always easier to make a fast racing car solid than to make a solid one fast. But ultimately the best of both has to be at hand. What is important in the process is the meticulous balancing of the mechanical grip of the chassis and wheels as well as the aerodynamic grip. Both give the racing car fast and easy-to-drive handling.”

The car is to make its first public appearance at the Geneva Motor Show between the 3rd and 13th March.

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