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STARD ‘on schedule’ with delivery of KIA TCR programme

STARD is confident that it remains on schedule with the development of its new Kia Cee’d TCR car, which is set to be officially revealed in October ahead of racing in the 2017 season.

STARD, which stands for Stohl Advanced Research and Development, is responsible for developing the new car for the Korean manufacturer and first revealed its plans in April.

Michael Sakowicz, CEO of STARD, explained that the company have been pleased with their development to-date.

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“Since the first official preview of the project and already before, we have worked very intensively and with full focus on the technical solutions,” explained Sakowicz. “We are extremely pleased about the progress over the last months and are very confident that the first brand new developed 2017 specification car will be highly competitive in all various TCR leagues and beyond.”

“The testing programme is going very well and the results even excel our expectations. We are developing a customer motorsport car, for a client with very clear and strict guidelines, which makes it a big job to have all successfully signed off according to the laid down specification sheet.

“Therefore we are even more satisfied, that we are perfectly on schedule of our project plan until now.”

Even though the car has not been officially unveiled, Sakowicz added that he has had interest from many potential customers already.

“We have plenty of final customers who don´t even want to wait until the official presentation, because they want to ensure their car being among the ones delivered for the 2017 season start and trust in the work we do.

“It´s great to see how the hard work in our recent top-projects around WRC, touring cars, and FIA World Rallycross vehicle development paid off, resulting in so much trust by the customers.

“On the other hand, it will help us a lot to plan deliveries of the initial cars so that our first customers are given a perfect season start with enough testing time prior to the first events, as the production capacities until season start are limited.

“That´s why we together decided to officially accept also final customer pre-orders now from September 2016, and also are expecting that this list will fill very quickly.”

Philipp Thonet, who is the Chief Technical Officer, added that the company were exploring different avenues with different suppliers to ensure that they end up with a versatile product.

The company have also been working on the project in line with the discussions at the recent ‘TCR Manufacturer Meeting’ in Munich.

“To ensure that we pick the best suppliers on the market, and that´s what our client and our customers demand, we have decided to test a number of different suppliers,” said Thonet. “This is especially for the performance deciding assemblies, also having in mind the new tasks for TCR like endurance & 24hrs races.

“To give an example, we are currently testing 4 different damper suppliers. The same approach applies to gearbox, brakes, engine auxiliaries and many more areas. This process is time consuming, but ensures that only the best package will find the way ‘into the car’!”

Manfred Stohl, who is the President of Stohl Group GmbH, concluded by calling the project the first ‘proper KIA road car-based motorsport project.

“Based on a long term partnership with the Korean group and especially Kia Motors Corporation on various levels and areas, be it R&D, Marketing, Customer Events and of course Racing Activity, we all are so proud and happy to process this project,” said Stohl.

“We want to try to help to ‘rocket’ the image of the brand even more through motorsport, aligning with the great products delivered to customers oh so well.

“Also the ‘Kia community’ around the globe is incredibly interested an excited about our project, which again shows us how much the people, from the Picanto- to the K9-customer have waited for a proper Kia road car-based motorsport project.

“It´s also a project for them, the Kia enthusiasts, owners and lovers, to which we also count ourselves.”

KIA Cee’d TCR preview video

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