Marcello Lotti, the founder of the TCR concept, predicts that there will be further growth in the touring car category in 2017, as the number of championships adopting the ruleset continues to expand.
The promoter of the TCR concept says that an additional five championships will adopt the regulations in the coming year, including the recently launched TCR Middle East Series and the upcoming TCR China Series.
“2016 was only the second year since the inception of the TCR concept and we are happy with the way it is developing,” said Lotti. “In less than 24 months the initials TCR have become very popular with motorsport insiders and fans.
“The number of series that have adopted the TCR technical regulations has grown from three in 2015 to eleven in 2016. This figure will expand to sixteen by the beginning of next year and is bound to grow even further in the following months.”
Lotti is keen to point out that he believes the introduction of TCR has been a shot in the arm to touring car racing, which has lacked a structure for customer racing teams in recent decades.
“TCR re-introduced the concept of customer racing in touring car competition, something that dated back to decades ago and that was lost in the last thirty or forty years.
“The development of a TCR car is relatively expensive for a manufacturer and represents an excellent investment as it helps to build up a global market of customers who buy cars, spare parts and technical support. And on top of this they can benefit from the promotion and exposure induced by the different championships.
“One of our goals is to see TCR cars racing in all five continents within the next two years. A goal that is not out of reach and one that would recreate a global Touring Car community for the first time in over twenty years.”
The Italian also points out that he does not feel the creation of a new World Touring Car Championship category, WTCC-2, based in part on the TCR regulations, will cause any issues for TCR racing.
“As far as I know the final technical regulations have not been published yet,” added Lotti. “I expect they will be in some way different from TCR, in respect of the intellectual property.”
The first round of the TCR International Series takes place on 1 – 2 April 2017 at the Rustavi International Motopark in Georgia.