TCR Australia will run with Kumho tyres for the 2023 season, bringing the national series in line with other global TCR series by running the rubber specially developed for TCR competition.
In 2021, Kumho announced that it had developed a tyre specifically for TCR competition, with the company subsequently being made the tyre supplier for TCR Europe, TCR Eastern Europe, TCR Italy, TCR Spain and TCR Denmark in 2022.
This year, TCR South America, TCR Brazil and TCR Australia will join the series running on the widely-adopted tyres, with the Australian switch coming as part of a multi-year deal.
Kumho will provide the control tyre for the new TCR World Tour in 2023, and with Australia having been already confirmed to host two rounds, including one at Bathurst, the announcement fits in well with the plans.
Global distribution of the tyres is managed by Portugal-based Race Tyres International. The local distributor will be European Technique Race Tyre Service.
“It is fantastic to welcome TCR Australia to the Kumho tyre family for 2023 and beyond,” said Rene Quintaneiro, CEO, Race Tyres International.
“TCR has emerged as one of the powerhouse racing categories all around the world, and the work that ARG has done to make the Australia series one of the most competitive in the world is a real credit to their crew and teams.
“This new deal aligns TCR Australia with the TCR World Tour and many other TCR markets around the world, so it will make any transition for its drivers or team a lot easier.
“We have had great feedback from all TCR categories around the Kumho racing tyre and we are looking forward to getting the first batches down to Australia for the first round in February.”
Ben McMellan, Head of Category Operations for promoter Australian Racing Group, highlighted the importance of running on the same rubber as the TCR World Tour.
“This was an important step for TCR Australia to make to fall in line with other major TCR categories around the world,” said McMellan.
“Switching to Kumho means our drivers will have exactly the same compound and construction of tyre that the TCR World Tour teams will be using when they race here later this year.
“It also means that if our drivers or teams want to compete internationally, they are likely to have the same level of tyre knowledge.
“I’d like to extend a huge thanks to Michelin who have been a terrific supporter of TCR in Australia. They have been supportive and understanding through the past four years and we thank them for their commitment.”
The opening round of the 2023 TCR Australia season takes place at Symmons Plains Raceway on February 24-26.