The growing attractiveness of TCR, according to Greg Rust
As lead commentator of Supercheap Auto TCR Australia’s television broadcast since the category’s debut in 2019, Greg Rust has viewed first hand its continued growth despite the trying climate.
Rust sat down with the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia website to discuss the advantages for a manufacturer or prospective entrant to support the class and the benefits this can provide.
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In his prior role as commentator and pit reporter within Network 10’s motorsport coverage, Rust was the face of its Australian Super Touring Championship broadcast. He reflected on the similarities between TCR’s emergence in Australia, but highlighted the significant differences between the two.
“This whole chapter takes me back to my early days when I worked on the Super Touring coverage in the late 1990’s,” said Rust.
“There were some great cars back then, with all sorts of makes and marques represented. The big difference in the eras is cost containment. It was an arms race back in Super Touring particularly in the benchmark BTCC with F1 teams involved back then and some insane engineering!
“It made for bloody cool machines I still love today but it wasn’t sustainable. TCR’s big strength worldwide is stability in the technical regulations and it’s viable or more realistic.”
So what are these differences and how is cost containment controlled to make it viable not only for just manufacturer involvement, but privateers or any prospective competitors.
“A level playing field and they aren’t afraid to say “no” to some innovations they think are too expensive or have the potential to get out of control, especially if there’s no benefit to the show,” Rust explained.
“There’s a kind of beauty in the simplicity if that makes sense but it doesn’t mean the cars look basic. In fact, it’s far from it.
“They just seem to take steps to ensure that what lies beneath (the bonnet) will do the job really well and retains the integrity of the marque in addition to everything it represents.
“For me, the real win is that it provides a platform for a young racer to progress on the international stage. What you learn racing TCR in Australia means there isn’t a seismic shift or massive step if you get the chance to race the class overseas.