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Stian Paulsen forced to sit out TCR Europe season opener

Norwegian racer Stian Paulsen will miss the opening round of the 2019 TCR Europe season at the Hungaroring this weekend as a result of financial woes.

The 31-year-old took part in European rounds of the TCR International Series in 2017, before stepping up for a full season of TCR Europe last season, finishing ninth in the drivers’ standings.

Ahead of the 2019 season opener, Paulsen announced he will skip the first race due to a lack of funding, but hopes to be present at the second round at Hockenheim on 24-26 May.

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“Briefly explained, I have no money to drive, so I stay home,” said Paulsen.

“I’m not crying about this, I’m positive that we can get well prepared for the next race now.”

Paulsen in action at the Barcelona season finale last year. Photo: TCR Media

Speaking earlier this month, Paulsen admitted the off-season had been difficult, moving to a new workshop as well as attempting to secure a deal with another team to support his 2019 effort.

“It has been very hard to put together the programme, because I had a difficult winter,” he said. “I had to move to a new workshop and refurbish it. So I had not much time to think about racing and lost my sponsors.

“So, it’s not the best moment for racing, but I will try to manage. I will take this as a transition season for keeping on just learning and prepare better for 2020.”

“This winter I built up a damaged Sprinter [van] I bought, and from now on we have to run with two Sprinters to the races to not be overweight.

“I worked for a long time to do a deal with another team, as I had these challenges, but now I will continue as before with my own team.”

The opening two races take place at the Hungaroring this coming weekend – sharing the schedule with the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) – before the TCR Europe series heads to Germany at the end of May, which Paulsen hopes to return for.

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