Target Competition will start the 2016 TCR International Series season with two Opel Astra TCR cars, driven by new signing Jordi Oriola and 2015 driver Andrea Belicchi.
The team had originally revealed plans to run three of the brand new Opels in the international series, but only two will take part in the season opening round in Bahrain on the 2nd and 3rd April.
The car has not yet run competitively in a race meeting, and the Sakhir circuit will provide the first opportunity for the new car to show its pace against the competition.
It is anticipated that temperatures will exceed 40°C, representing a major challenge for the car’s engine cooling system, turbocharger, transmission and brakes, as well as affecting tyre wear along with the competition.
The car made further progress during the official TCR tests in Valencia, where experienced touring car racer Nicola Larini, who evaluated all of the cars for Balance of Performance [BoP] testing, described the car as having “very good handling”.
Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott expressed caution ahead of the début of the new car in the Bahrain desert.
“We are a newcomer to the TCR series with our Astra and we will definitely need a bit more time to further optimize the vehicle,” explained Schrott. “Furthermore, the conditions in the desert are unique. Therefore, we should treat the two races in Bahrain as another important test.
“We aim to learn as much as possible to fine tune the Astra TCR for the coming races.”