Reigning TCR Germany champion Josh Files will return to the series in 2017 to defend his title, reuniting with Target Competition in the 43-car championship.
Files won the inaugural championship in 2016 racing the exact same Honda Civic for Target, collecting six wins in the process – more than double that of any other driver.
The last-minute deal came about when Files was testing with Target in Misano, getting behind the wheel of both the Audi RS3 LMS and the Honda Civic.
“I looked at TCR International and had some offers for it, but I didn’t have offers that I felt were in a winning car,” said Files to TouringCars.Net. “I’m not interested in second best.
“It’s going to be 43 cars – that’s just absolutely insane. To be honest, you have to enter the championship with a completely different mind frame of not trying to be on pole position, but trying to just simply get enough track space to get through Q1!”
The Brit had been linked with a drive in TCR international, but he also rubbished any rumours that he considered racing in the non-starting second-tier WTCC-2 class.
“That was just gossip – I actually was just interested in TC1, but some people decided that because TCN-2 shares the TCR regulations, that’s where I was aiming for. If I was to go to WTCC I would only go to WTCC TC1 because I’m not interested in a second-tier class.”
Despite there being more than 40 cars, Files admits that he plans to use a similar approach in 2017 to that which he had last season.
“I genuinely believe that with 40-odd cars, every race could end behind the safety car or under a red flag. I can’t see how they’re all going to get through the first corner at most of the tracks.
“Last year we won the championship by not caring about what other people were doing and we simply focussed on our goals and making our car faster and better. This year we have to do exactly the same.”