16 January 2023 |

Things you need to know about the TCR World Tour

Expectation is building ahead of the maiden TCR World Tour, and Australia is set to play a pivotal role in the new top tier of global touring car racing.

When the TCR World Tour joins the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series for two races later this season, it will be the first time in more than 25 years that international touring car racing has been hosted down under – and 36 years since the World Touring Car Championship raced at the Mountain.

We are embarking on an era of touring car racing that generations of Australian motorsport fans have never seen.

The Supercheap Auto Bathurst International will host one round, while a second is yet to be revealed as the top touring car drivers in the world will take on Australia’s best TCR racers.

The TCR World Tour will replace the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) for 2023, with the series joining nine national events from TCR Europe, TCR Italy, TCR South America, TCR Australia and TCR Asia.

It is expected that the TCR World Tour field will consist of around 16 entries of which Audi and Lynk & Co have confirmed four each, while other manufacturers are expected to announce plans soon.

In addition to the TCR World Tour, a rankings system akin to what exists in golf and tennis has been formulated to provide an opportunity for the globe’s best TCR drivers to contest an all-important finals event.

The top 45 TCR World Rankings drivers in the ranking will automatically qualify for the World Cup Final, with Supercheap Auto TCR Australia competitors in an advantageous situation to contest three races each weekend (compared to just two in Europe) and hosting two TCR World Tour rounds where the points score is increased.

Rankings are updated on every Wednesday, with the last 20 events a driver participates in counting towards the standings and it is expected the top 45 to qualify for the World Final will be decided by September.

At the World Final, the top 45 will be divided into three groups of 15, with three races occurring between the groups containing a 30-car grid in each. The best finishing 15 make it to the final joining the drivers from the TCR World Tour to crown the world’s best driver.

Accessibility for drivers to race at this event is expected to be eased as further announcements are made.

Currently, four Supercheap Auto TCR Australia drivers feature inside the top 45 and a further eight are contained in the top 100, further emphasising not only the tough competition within the class, but also the opportunity the category provides.

CLICK HERE to see how the Australian drivers faired at the end of the 2022 season.

WSC Group President and founder of TCR Marcello Lotti says that the system is designed to culminate in the ultimate touring car grand final.

“We decided to bring in this TCR Ranking concept because the platform today of TCR is around 360 events in the world, more than 30 series and 1200 cars sold globally,” Lotti said.

“When we looked at this, we have probably for the first time in motorsport a platform where we can organise a world ranking like in tennis or golf, so we decided to pursue this and we have spent two years on developing the software. The parameters that you can score points on are not the same in Australia or in other countries as clearly each series is different.

“When we discovered that WTCR was not in good shape, we decided to lsunch the TCR World Tour and select nine events out of the more than 300 we have with factors being the promoter, how iconic the circuit is and the best we’d take considering the grid will be 35-40 cars because the fields will combine.

“For that part we started with this concept because the idea was to have one grand final, one World Cup. So, we decided to make an opportunity for 60 drivers to contest the finale, the top 45 of the world ranking each year at a certain point (September) are the drivers that can compete in the final.

“It is important we select events for the TCR World Tour because clearly the event will be upgraded to a global level with international exposure, very big TV distribution in 65 countries and 52 broadcasters.”