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Nicola Baldan returns to TCR Europe with Comtoyou Racing

Nicola Baldan and Comtoyou Racing will continue to compete in this year’s TCR Europe series, racing an Audi RS3 LMS TCR with support from Team Clairet Sport.

Baldan, 41, was a full-time entrant in the 2022 TCR Europe series, finishing seventh overall in Hyundai machinery, before taking on a part-season in 2023.

Having started the season in a Hyundai, Baldan missed the next three events before returning at Circuit Paul Ricard with Comtoyou in an Audi.

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The partnership was an immediate success, with the Italian scoring four straight second-place finishes, before concluding the season with a fourth and fifth, ending up seventh in the drivers’ standings.

Baldan will race under the banner of ‘Gruppo Baldan by Comtoyou Racing’ in 2024.

“I am about to start my 22nd season in motorsport,” said Baldan. “I still want to shine on the racetrack, but this new partnership, which combines the strength of Gruppo Baldan and the technical skills of Comtoyou Racing, gives me extra motivation. We have all the cards in our hand to play a leading role.

“In 2023, I took part in the last three TCR Europe events with Comtoyou Racing and finished on the podium four times in six races.

“So I think we will be aiming for the podium at every event, even though there are a fair number of newcomers and some very good drivers who are already regulars in the championship. It is going to be an intense battle, but we are ready for it!”

Baldan has also confirmed plans to take part in the TCR World Ranking Final after the season has concluded.

“It is definitely on our agenda, as the top 60 riders in the world rankings qualify,” added the Italian, currently ranked 37th. “I cannot wait to take on this huge challenge. It is going to be incredible and certainly one of the best events of my career.”

Comtoyou, which had previously received support from Audi Sport Customer Racing on its TCR World Tour programme, had been quiet on its TCR plans for 2024.

The Belgian team has now confirmed some presence in TCR Europe, with Baldan and Team Clairet Sport, which is also running Audi machinery in this year’s TC France series.

Comtoyou Racing has won three of the past four drivers’ titles in TCR Europe, with Mehdi Bennani in 2020, Franco Girolami in 2022 and Tom Coronel in 2023.

Having moved into GT racing in 2024 with Aston Martin, Team Principal Jean-Michel Baert and Team Manager François Vervist are keen to keep “one foot in TCR” through a collaboration with France-based Team Clairet Sport.

“We will be providing the engineers and mechanics and all the knowledge we have of the Audi,” explained Baert and Verbist. “For their part, Jean-Marie and his sons will help us with the logistics and our car will be under their marquee. By joining forces, we will be stronger.”

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