The TCR Australia series will offer a new prize for amateur or semi-professional drivers in 2020, offering them the chance to fight for an international drive and the new ‘Panta Cup’.
Supported by the series’ fuel supplier Panta, part of the MOL Group, the prize will be awarded at the end of each round to the eligible driver who scores the most points at that venue.
The winning driver in the Panta Cup will also be presented with a trophy on the podium at each round.
In order to be eligible for the end-of-year prize, the driver must have competed in all seven rounds during the season.
The winner will then be presented with a paid entry fee into an international TCR endurance race of significance, with organisers citing the TCR Spa 500 as an example of a possible prize.
Crucially, eligibility for the new prize, which will be limited to just six places for the series, is at the discretion of the TCR Australia category management.
The first confirmed entry for the new cup is Hyundai racer Michael King, who last month confirmed his entry in the series.
“We have fielded a lot of interest from a great variety of teams and drivers for the 2020 TCR Australia Series, and we feel that there is enough interest from semi-professional drivers to introduce the Panta Cup,” said Liam Curkpatrick, TCR Australia category manager.
“The great thing about the Panta Cup is that drivers who are deemed to be of a semi-professional or amateur experience will still compete under the same rules as the outright contenders.
“However, they will have their own points race to consider. It adds another talking point for the fans and followers, as well as an extra incentive for those in that class.
“By limiting the entrants to six, we are aiming to have all of those places filled quite quickly. It should be a competitive series in its own right.
“The mix of driver experience is going to be really diverse this year. From young guys coming out of karting or Formula Ford, to the semi-professionals and then some highly credentialed talent.
“It all points towards an exciting year.”