A Statement regarding TCR Talk

With 2020 being such a unique year so far and also one where people have experienced difficult times and faced difficult decisions, the time has come for myself to update you all on a difficult decision regarding TCR Talk.

It is with great sadness that I confirm that TCR Talk will close on 31st October.


As many of you will know, my writing of this blog has been a hobby that began for me back in 2013 as a way of recovery after suffering a nervous breakdown.

As a suggestion from my wife and partner of ten years, I started to share my thoughts on my love and passion for motorsport and the blog steadily grew from there.

However, I’ve found that my time has become increasingly taken up by my full-time working role and this has led me to the decision that I am no longer able to commit the time required.

Therefore the blog will close at the end of October. The Twitter and Facebook pages will also close on 31st October.

Credit: BRSCC / TCR UK Series

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has followed my blog, from its humble beginnings as “The Tintop Guru” through to its current version as “TCR Talk”

I have been incredibly lucky to meet some amazing people in Motorsport circles and learn so much from them. I am forever thankful to you all.

Its been a true honour to cover series such as the FIA World Rallycross Championship, the British Touring Car Championship and both the TCR UK Touring car Champion and later, the Dunlop Touring Car Trophy.

I cannot put into words how much it has meant to be able to share my thoughts and develop myself into what I call “An Amateur Motorsport Journalist”.

Credit: DPPI / FIA WTCR

The blog allowed me to grasp the opportunities presented to me that led to my joining websites such as The Checkered Flag and Downforce Racing and developing further at both sites.

However, due to my own failings in not being able to make this a full-time change in my career, the time has come to call it a day.

Some might say that this is giving up. It’s far from it. This is a simple realisation that the dream I have pursued for the past seven years is no longer possible to make a reality.

I consider myself very lucky to have been able to contribute in a very small way to Motorsport through my writing and I have many wonderful memories that I take away with me.

Credit: WSC / TCR Europe

I will continue with my role as Owner of The Official TCR Talk Group & Admin of The TCR UK Fans Group sharing what news I find from drivers, teams and other sources.

Thank you to everyone who has followed the blog in its various guises and supported me over the past seven years.

With Kind Regards and humble thanks,

Phil Kinch

TCR Talk – The Brits Abroad: Huff starts STCC campaign in style at Karlskoga

During 2020, TCR Talk will be following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad. We continue this series with 2012 FIA World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff, who is competing in the 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia series for Lestrup Racing Team…

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of Rob’s performance at Karlskoga in Sweden, location for the opening races of the 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia Series

Race One at Karlskoga…

Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky battles Huff’s team-mate Oliver Söderström Credit: STCC TCR Scandinavia

Söderström started Race 1 from pole position alongside his teammate Rob Huff, but Huff dropped three spots at the start, while Tobias Brink in his Audi RS 3 quickly moved ahead of Söderström’s Golf to lead in the early stages.

A mistake on lap nine allowed Söderström the opportunity to retake the lead, meanwhile Huff was recovering, passing Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, Emil Persson and then eventually Brink to finish the race with a Lestrup 1-2 – only to be handed a five-second penalty post-race for contact with Brink, which dropped him to fourth in the final order.

Åhlin-Kottulinsky’s race ended with broken suspension after contact with Ahlberg, and her car was repaired with parts from Peter ‘Poker’ Wallenberg’s CUPRA, which ruled the 61-year-old out of the rest of the day.

Race Two at Karlskoga

Lestrup Racing Team in action at Karlsloga. Credit: STCC TCR Scandinavia

In Race 2, Brink led the way from pole ahead of Dahlgren and Huff, in what was a more laid-back race.

Unfortunately for Brink, the Audi driver was deemed to have jumped the start, which meant he would have 20 seconds added to his time, which ruled out any chance of victory.

Behind him, Dahlgren was keeping Huff at a safe distance behind until the final two laps, when the Briton closed in, but ultimately ran out of time to make a pass.

This allowed the reigning champion to score his first win with the new Leon Competición, with Huff second and Söderström completing the podium after having worked his way past Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Mattias Andersson.

Race Three at Karlskoga

Lestrup Racing Team in formation. Credit: Martin Öberg

The top eight were reversed for Race 3, which gave Ahlberg pole position, and he made the most of it, pulling away from the pack as Andersson made one of his typical fast starts from fourth on the grid and was up to second.

From there, Andersson kept the field behind him, with Persson harrying the Honda lap after lap to no avail.

The Lestrup Racing pair of Huff and Söderström were working together to make their way forwards, both passing Åhlin-Kottulinsky into Turn 1 on lap eight for fourth and fifth, and then were able to pass Persson on the penultimate lap, with Huff securing third and Söderström fourth.

Huff reflects on Karlskoga

Rob Huff at Karlskoga. Credit: Martin Öberg

Rob Huff made his debut for the Lestrup Racing Team in the 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia Series at Karlskoga, however, the Volkswagen driver is no stranger to either Touring Cars or driving TCR cars in recent years.

With this in mind, Huff reflected on his performances at Karlskoga and also reflected upon the hard work that the team put in after various issues arose over the race weekend.

“I’m very pleased with this weekend. The guys have been working 24 hours a day for two weeks as we’ve had a few issues. The engine we put in just before qualifying is our fifth engine with this car.  It was such a relief when we’re able to put two quick laps in and get it onto P2 on the grid,” explained Huff.

“As for the races, what a day. It’s been a fantastic day not only for myself but for my team-mate Oliver as well – and it’s all thanks to the amazing work done by the team.”

The Dubai based driver went on to explain how he performed in the first three races of the new season, racing on a track he’d never seen or driven on before the opening weekend.

“In the second race, I think if we had a couple of more laps I could have got Robert (Dahlgren) for the win, but I’m still over the moon with the result, and then in Race 3, that was a lot of fun. The reversed grid is what touring car racing is all about, and I was able to work with Oliver to make my way through, knowing he had my back but that he was also close enough to follow me through when I made some moves.”

“I’d like to say a big thank you to Lestrup Racing Team for all their hard work. They’ve done a brilliant job with this car – the setup and the handling of this car is the best I’ve ever felt.”

“Next is Skellefteå, another new circuit. This is all new to me, but I’m having a lot of fun. I’ve been really nicely welcomed into the championship, and am really looking forward to the next one.”

The next round of the 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia championship takes place at the Drivecenter Arena, near Skellefteå in northern Sweden, on August 28th-29th.

The 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia Series Credit: STCC TCR Scandinavia

TCR Talk will be following Rob Huff this year, as he competes against the 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia Championship competitors whilst driving for Lestrup Racing Team looking to try and secure his first ever TCR Title.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk Review: 2020 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship – Lausitzring

After following the likes of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), the TCR Europe Touring Car Series and the TCR UK Touring Car Championship in recent seasons, TCR Talk will be following a returning series for 2020:

The 2020 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of all the action that took place at the Lausitzring, from Qualifying all the way through to Races One and Two on Sunday…

Antti Buri sets the first pole of the year in TCR Germany

Antti Buri. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

On his first appearance at the wheel of the Hyundai i30 N, Antti Buri set pole position for the opening round of the 2020 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at the Lausitzring.

Buri topped both Q1 and Q2 and clocked the fastest lap of 1:28.878 in the second segment of the session; he was the only driver to break the 1:29 wall. Three other Hyundai cars filled the positions behind him.

In Q1, Jan Seyffert posted a first provisional best lap of 1:29.515 that was bettered by Nico Gruber’s 1:29.459 and eventually by Buri’s 1:29.394.

With thirteen cars on the track and only ten admitted to Q2, none of the top drivers took the risk of improving their lap times and positions. Eventually, only Salminen, Legutko and Tovilavičius did not make the cut.

All the fastest times in Q2 were set on the first lap out, with Buri topping the list ahead of Seyffert, Gruber and Harald Proczyk;

Dominik Fugel and Mike Halder took fifth and sixth places in their respective Profi Car Honda ADAC Saxony entries and sister Michelle Halder sealed seventh place at the wheel of her Profi-Car Team Halder Honda.

Rookie Nico Gruber claims an authoritative win

Niko Gruber. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

The opening race of the 2020 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at the Lausitzring resulted in an authoritative victory of Austrian rookie Nico Gruber at the wheel of one of the Engstler Motorsport-run Hyundai i30 N TCR cars.

Gruber took a brilliant start and never looked back, while behind him Mike Halder beat Antti Buri for second place.

At the start, pole sitter Buri hesitated and Gruber sprinted from third on the grid to take the lead into turn one. Behind him and Buri, Mike Halder overtook Jan Seyffert for third during the opening lap.

The race became processional until lap eight when the fight for tenth between Marcel Fugel, Albert Legutko and Michelle Halder resulted in the young Polish driver locking up its front wheels and ending its race in the gravel trap.

The safety car was deployed and circulated for six laps while Legutko’s Honda was towed to a safe position. Suspension failure was later confirmed as the reason for Legutko’s retirement.

Michelle Halder, who had started from the back of the grid after losing her seventh position because of an engine change, was under investigation for having possibly punted Legutko off.

When racing resumed on lap fifteen, Halder stole second from Buri, while Harald Proczyk passed Seyffert for fourth place. The top positions didn’t change, and the final laps were enlivened by the battle for tenth place between Honda stablemates Marcel Fugel and Michelle Halder, with Fugel finishing ahead of Halder.

Dominik Fugel wins Lausitz race two

Dominik Fugel. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

Dominik Fugel claimed a brilliant victory in the second race of the 2020 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship at the Lausitzring.

Fugel drove his Profi-Car Team Honda Civic to take the lead shortly after the start and was then able to create a small gap that enabled him to beat the Hyundai cars of Harald Proczyk and Antti Buri, who would go on to finish the race in second and third positions respectively.

René Kircher was on pole on the reversed grid, with Michelle Halder alongside him and was Halder who led the field into turn one.

However, she was soon passed by Dominik Fugel and her brother Mike, dropping to third. One lap later, Proczyk too passed Michelle for third place in his HP Racing International Hyundai. Halder lost another position on lap six when Buri passed her for fourth place.

As Fugel was trying to pull away, behind him Mike Halder’s pace suddenly faded and at the end of lap eight, he pitted and retired. This promoted Proczyk and Buri to second and third, but despite their efforts, they were no able to close in on Fugel who went to claim a dominant victory.

Two laps from the end, Race one winner Nico Gruber was finally able to pass Michelle and moved into fourth place by the end of the race.

this means that Gruber emerged as the leader of the standings after the season opener, with a slim margin of three points over Proczyk, while Buri and Fugel are third and fourth with gaps of five and eight points respectively.

The 2020 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship will resume at the Nürburgring Grand Prix short circuit, this weekend, on 15-16 August.

Where can you watch the action?

Jan Seyffert. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

The ADAC TCR Germany Series follows the successful route, which has worked for almost all TCR Series around the globe, of showing all of their races live on YouTube.

This is done on the ADAC YouTube Account which you can find here.

The ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship is also one of a few series along with WTCR, TCR Europe, TCR Malaysia and TCR UK that has English commentary, so this allows for a wider audience to follow the series. You can also find the races broadcast live at TCR TV.

To catch up with any of the 2020 races that you have missed with English Commentary, please follow the link to my YouTube Playlist:

2020 ADAC TCR Germany

Rene Kircher. Credit: ADAC Motorsport/Gruppe C

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2020 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2020 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2020 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of ADAC Motorsport-Gruppe C Photography unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk: The Brits racing abroad in 2020

With the new year underway in very strange and different circumstances due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, the TCR Talk blog will continue to follow British drivers racing overseas during the 2020 season of TCR Competition.

This was a series that we began last year, following the progress of the various British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad.

TCR Talk: The Brits Abroad – 2019

Credit: TCR Japan

2019 saw three British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad, who was not involved in both the TCR Europe Touring Car Series and The FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR):

Daniel Lloyd ran a full-time campaign in the TCR China Touring Car Championship, where he drove for the MacPro Racing team in a Honda Civic Type R FK7. The 2018 TCR UK Champion went on to finish the season as runner up.

Matt Howson made his touring car debut in the brand new TCR Japan Touring Car Series, where he drove for the KCMG team in a Honda Civic Type R FK7. Howson would go on to become the Saturday Series Champion and was crowned the overall champion.

Bradley Burns made his touring car debut in the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship, where he drove for the Pyro Motorsport team in a Honda Civic Type R FK7. Howson was a leading contender in the Honda Junior Cup before withdrawing from the series before the end of the season.

We’ll be looking out for the British drivers as they compete for honours once again in the various TCR Series around the globe and reporting back on their progress.

TCR Talk: The Brits Abroad – 2020!

Rob Huff at Macau in 2019. Credit: Clement Marin / DPPI

TCR Talk will once again be following the progress of the British Drivers who race in TCR Series outside of the UK and who are not involved in both TCR Europe and WTCR. These details are based on confirmations made before the the Covid-19 global pandemic forced all Motorsport and Sport in general to come to a halt

2020 will see the following British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad:

Macau King Rob Huff announced over the winter that he was not able to secure a seat on the WTCR grid for 2020, which in my mind is a big loss for the series. However, the British driver will be involved in racing activities in 2020.

Huff has signed for the Lestrup Racing Team, who are returning to the STCC / TCR Scandinavia series this year after a break away competing in Endurance racing. Whilst this may seem to be an odd move, STCC / TCR Scandinavia is one of the more competitive domestic series and Huffy will be up against it.

TCR Talk will monitor his progress with interest.

Daniel Lloyd in the Brutal Fish Racing Honda in TCR Malaysia. Credit: TCR Malaysia/Ying Ching Heng

Daniel Lloyd returned to compete in a full-time campaign in the TCR Malaysia Touring Car Series, where he drove for the Brutal Fish Racing team in a Honda Civic Type R FK7.

The 2018 TCR UK Champion went on to finish the season as runner up after leading the series early on, taking one race win. Lloyd will return to action for the team for his second season in the TCR Europe Touring Car Series where he will once again join Team Owner Martin Ryba.

The team will be running three cars in TCR Europe with the third driver to be announced later on. Lloyd also competed in TCR China Touring Car Championship, where he drove for the MacPro Racing team last year, however, there has been no confirmation yet if he will return.

British fans will need to look towards Asia to follow the progress of 2019 TCR Europe Drivers Champion Josh Files this year. After a successful campaign in Europe with Hyundai, the British driver will remain with the Korean marque for 2020.

Josh Files in the Solite Indigo Racing Hyundai in TCR Malaysia. Credit: TCR Malaysia/Ying Ching Heng

Files has already begun his Asian Odyssey this year by running in a partial entry of the TCR Malaysia Touring Car Series. The British driver competed in a familiar Hyundai i30 N TCR for the Solite Indigo Racing squad in rounds three and four before moving to a Veloster N TCR for the final two races.

Files will remain with the team as they take on a full season of the 2020 TCR Asia International Series.

These are the three confirmed British drivers who will be racing abroad in 2020 and TCR Talk will also be keeping track of any other British drivers who will race in foreign TCR Series.

Of course, it’s very clear that all of these confirmations were announced before the lockdown period for Covid-19 took place and please be assured that TCR Talk is monitoring the situation for when we can potentially return to a time where Motorsport and more specifically, TCR Series can return to action.

Credit: FIA WTCR / DPPI

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2020 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2020 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2020 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk Review: 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship – Sepang Part 3

After following the likes of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), the TCR Europe Touring Car Series, the TCR UK Touring Car Championship and the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship in recent seasons, TCR Talk will be following a new series for 2020:

The 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of all the action that took place at Sepang for the final weekend of the series, with both races once again taking place on Saturday. With a title to be decided, the on-track action reflected the pressure on the drivers and teams.

Kim Jinsoo joins Files at Solite Indigo Racing for 2020 TCR Malaysia Series Finale

Kim Jinsoo in the Solite Indigo Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR.

South Korea-based Solite Indigo Racing confirmed that rising star Kim Jinsoo would joins the team effort for the 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship finale.

Jinsoo will drive for the team during its campaign in the 2020 TCR Asia International Series. Kim will drive the Hyundai i30 N TCR that Files used during the middle weekend of TCR Malaysia as the 2019 TCR Europe Champion moves to the Hyundai Veloster N that he will also use in TCR Asia this year.

Engstler takes pole in Qualifying for TCR Malaysia Finale

Engstler dominated Qualifying in his usual fashion

Luca Engstler continued his run of Pole Positions in the 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship as he looked to try and take every advantage in his hunt for a second consecutive title.

Engstler had gone fastest in Q1 with a lap of 2:14.571, going one-tenth faster than Lloyd’s 2:14.685, with the returning Mitchell Cheah in third position, just over a second behind the German driver and his team-mate for the weekend.

Josh Files put the new Hyundai Veloster N in fourth place ahead of Gilbert Ang, who once again outlined his talent against the more experienced drivers in the field by going fifth fastest. Freddie Ang was back in the third Viper Niza CUPRA and completed the top six.

Kim Jinsoo stole seventh place ahead of Douglas Khoo, who was the fastest Cup entrant in eight place ahead of Tommy Ku was seventh in the Prince Racing Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR.

Douglas Khoo in the Viper Niza Racing CUPRA TCR

The reigning TCR Malaysia champion drove his Engstler Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR to set a lap of 2:14.677 in Q2, beating Daniel Lloyd’s Brutal Fish Racing Honda Civic by only two-tenths of a second.

Engstler’s teammate Cheah qualified in third position, only three-thousandths of a second behind Lloyd whilst 2019 TCR Europe Champion Josh Files set the fourth fastest lap at the wheel of his Hyundai Veloster N.

Gilbert Ang followed in fifth position in his Viper Niza Racing CUPRA with team-mate Freddie Ang taking sixth on the grid. Kim Jinsoo took seventh place, just three-thousandths of a second behind Ang whilst Douglas Khoo was eighth in the remaining Viper Niza Racing CUPRA.

Engstler takes his third race victory of the season.

Luca Engstler in the Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR

In race one, Engstler sprinted away in his customary, almost expected fashion, at the start and was never headed as he went on to score his third lights-to-flag win of the season.

Behind him, there was a tough battle between Lloyd, Cheah and Files, with the three of them making contact several times during the early laps. Files took second from Lloyd during the first lap, but then he clashed again with Lloyd during lap four and dropped back to fifth.

Lloyd was able to pull away from both Cheah and Gilbert Ang, who kept on fighting for third until the end of the race whilst the British driver took second place comfortably.

Daniel Lloyd in the Brutal Fish Racing Honda Civic Type R FK7

Cheah took the final podium spot by beating his fellow countryman by six-tenths of a second, while Files lost two more places thanks to the previous contact to finish seventh overall.

After the race, Files protested against the contact with Lloyd, who also, in turn, protested against the contact he received from Cheah. The stewards awarded 30-second suspended penalties to both Lloyd and Cheah for their various contact incidents during the race.

This left Engstler just needing a podium finish at least to try and tie the Championship lead in the last race of the season, with Lloyd not being on the podium.

Engstler doubles up to secure back to back titles in Malaysia

Luca Engstler secured his second consecutive TCR Malaysia title

Douglas Khoo started the final race from pole position on the reversed grid, however, he lost the lead to the fast-starting Kim Jinsoo in the Solite Indigo Hyundai as he took the lead briefly.

Behind, the action was frantic as Engstler, Lloyd, Files, Cheah and Gilbert Ang all resumed battle as they looked to make their way up the field and try to end their respective season on a high.

Once again, some of the best TCR Drivers from Europe showed why TCR Racing can be such an exciting spectacle, even if you have a single figure grid.

Cheah, Lloyd, Files and Gilbert Ang all resumed battle in the last race of the year.

On lap two, Cheah passed Files for third place and on the following lap was able to pass Lloyd for second place. Engstler by now had managed to take the lead and started to build a gap.

Behind, the fight for second intensified on track with Cheah, Lloyd, Files and Gilbert Ang covered by five-tenths of a second. With the various drivers so close and fighting hard, something was soon bound to kick off and we weren’t disappointed.

On the penultimate lap, Files managed to pass both Cheah and Lloyd to grab second place, whilst Lloyd, who spent most of the race fighting some of the widest Hyundai TCR cars in history, finished in fourth and saw his hopes to dethrone Engstler vanish.

Lloyd, Cheah and Files raced hard against each other in Sepang.

Thanks to his four wins vs Lloyds single victory, Engstler won the tie at the top of the Drivers Standings on countback and secured his second consecutive title.

This also means that Engstler becomes the first driver to win five TCR Series titles, an impressive feat for a driver who is rumoured to be moving up to the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) this season.

Gilbert Ang took third place overall at the end of the season, with his run of third places helping him to outscore Josh Files who ended the season in fourth place, despite missing the first two races. Nico Gruber completed the top five in the standings.

The 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship Finale at the Sepang International Circuit

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2020 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2020 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2020 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of TCR Malaysia/Heng Ying unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

Will Brown returns to defend his TCR Australia title in 2020

HMO Customer Racing has confirmed that 2019 TCR Australia Touring Car Series Champion Will Brown will return to the team to defend his crown.

The Hyundai driver, who took seven wins en route to taking the inaugural Drivers title, will once again team up with Nathan Morcom, with the team retaining an unchanged driver lineup for the second season of the two-litre turbocharged series.

Such was Brown’s consistency during last year, he was able to secure the title one weekend early at the iconic Sandown raceway.

Will Brown in the HMO Customer Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR. Credit: TCR Australia

With HMO Customer Racing keeping both drivers on board for the 2020 season, Brown already starts as favourite to defend his crown. He will face a tougher field this year as TCR Australia has seen many entries already confirmed ahead of the season-opening round at the end of March at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The team will once again run Hyundai i30 N TCR cars with the possibility that a third car could be announced before the start of the season.

Brown spoke about his hopes for the new season ahead as he looks forward to a new season in TCR Australia.

The TCR Australia field in action at Phillip Island. Credit: TCR Australia

“Heading into the TCR Australia season last year, I didn’t know a whole lot about TCR although I’d watched World TCR and the racing looked awesome,” explained Brown.

“I can’t thank the team enough for all their hard work during the year. The racing was awesome. There is a lot of racing for me in 2020 and I can’t wait for it. What a great year I had in 2019 with HMO Customer Racing in the TCR Australia Series.”

“Of course I’m back for 2020, now let’s get on with it!”

Brown returns to defend his Drivers Title in the 2020 carsales TCR Australia Touring Car Series. Credit: TCR Australia

TCR Talk will be following the 2020 carsales TCR Australia Touring Car Series during its second season of competition.

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2020 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2020 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2020 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of TCR Australia unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk Review: 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship – Sepang Part 2

After following the likes of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), the TCR Europe Touring Car Series, the TCR UK Touring Car Championship and the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship in recent seasons, TCR Talk will be following a new series for 2020:

The 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of all the action that took place at Sepang for the second weekend of the series, with both races once again taking place on Saturday, this time in support of the Asian Le Mans Series event: The 4 Hours of Sepang.

Files joins Solite Indigo Racing for the remainder of 2020 TCR Malaysia Series

Josh Files in the Solite Indigo Racing Hyundai i30 N TCR.

2019 TCR Europe champion Josh Files will join Solite Indigo Racing for the two final events of the TCR Malaysia championship.

The Briton who has already clinched four TCR titles: two in Germany and one in the Middle East and Europe, will drive a Hyundai i30 N car run by the Korean team starting from Rounds 3 and 4 at Sepang International Circuit, while the team is planning to add a second car for the series’ finale, still at Sepang on February 29.

“I’m super happy to be joining Solite Indigo Racing for the TCR Malaysia series. It’s a completely new challenge for me. The guys at the team are really great and we are all pumped and ready to take the fight on. A huge thanks to Solite Indigo Racing and Hyundai for putting their trust in me, I’ll give it my all for them,” said Files.

Lloyd takes pole in Qualifying as Engstler is penalised

Daniel Lloyd in the Brutal Fish Racing Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR

With Qualifying taking place during Friday evening, it was Luca Engstler who originally snatched pole position for Round 3 of the 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Series.

Engstler had gone fastest in Q1 with a fastest lap of 2:19.548, one-tenth faster than Lloyd’s 2:19.683, with Files in third position six tenths behind the German driver.

Gilbert Ang was the quicker of the two Viper Niza Racing CUPRA TCR entries in fourth place whilst Engstler’s teammate Nico Gruber was fifth.

Douglas Khoo was sixth fastest in the sister Viper Niza Racing CUPRA TCR and the fastest of the Cup entrants in Q1 whilst Tommy Ku was seventh in the Prince Racing Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR.

Tommy Ku in the Prince Racing Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR

The reigning TCR Malaysia champion drove his Engstler Motorsport Hyundai i30 N TCR to set a lap of 2:16.409 in Q2, beating Daniel Lloyd’s Brutal Fish Racing Honda Civic by eight-tenths of a second.

Engstler’s teammate Nico Gruber qualified in third position, 1.4 seconds off the pole sitter’s pace while series newcomer and 2019 TCR Europe Champion Josh Files set the fourth fastest lap at the wheel of his Hyundai i30 N run by Solite Indigo Racing one further tenth adrift. Douglas Khoo followed in fifth position with his Viper Niza racing CUPRA.

Gilbert Ang was sixth on the grid whilst Tommy Ku was seventh in the Prince Racing Honda and also would start from pole position on the reverse grid second race.

Following Qualifying, Engstler was handed a five-place grid penalty for an engine change taking place on his Hyundai, handing pole position to championship leader Lloyd. Khoo was also handed a five-place grid penalty for changing cars after Quali.

Engstler takes his second race one victory of the season.

Round four winner Luca Engstler

With the re-ordered grid set in place with Lloyd on pole position from Gruber, Files, Ang, Engstler, Ku and Khoo, the Brutal Fish Racing Hond driver took the lead at the start from Ang, Nico Gruber and Files.

During the first lap, Engstler moved up through the field to third, ahead of fellow Hyundai drivers Files and Gruber. The top three of Lloyd, Ang and Engstler ran in a close formation for the first four laps, however, when Ang and Engstler started to fight over second place, Lloyd was able to create a 2.4-second gap by the end of lap six.

Despite Ang’s great defensive drive, Engstler overtook him on lap seven and began to start chasing down Lloyd whose gap was cut to 1.4 seconds and then again to three-tenths of second by the end of lap nine.

On lap ten, Lloyd and Engstler ran abreast into a few turns and made contact, until Engstler managed to get ahead and take the lead. The Hyundai driver pulled away to take his second victory of the season, with Lloyd finishing second ahead of Ang.

Files brought the Solite Indigo Racing Hyundai home in fourth place ahead of Gruber in the Engstler machine whilst Douglas Khoo took Cup honours ahead of Tommy Ku.

Lloyd secures maiden victory in race two

Daniel Lloyd in the Brutal Fish Racing Honda Civic Type R FK7 TCR

Tommy Ku was on pole of the reversed grid for Race two with Gilbert Ang alongside, however soon after the start of the race, Ku spun the Prince Racing Honda at turn two following contact with Files. Files then took the lead from Ang and Engstler.

On lap 2, Engstler once again renewed his battle with Ang, overtaking the Viper Niza Racing driver for second place and began chasing Files who was building a gap upfront as he led for the first time in TCR Malaysia.

For several laps, Files managed to keep his former TCR Europe rival Engstler at bay, whilst Ang and Daniel Lloyd followed close behind ready to pounce. On lap eight, Engstler lost control of the i30 N TCR and spun off track, which prompted the first safety car of the weekend.

Racing resumed on the final lap of the race, giving the fans a one-lap showdown to see who could take the win with Ang immediately attacking Files for the lead as the Hyundai driver was struggling with tyre problems.

The young Malaysian went wide at turn four and this allowed Lloyd the opportunity to pass the Viper Niza Racing CUPRA. Lloyd then hounded Files before stealing the lead at turn nine before staying ahead to take the win with Ang pipping Files on the line for third place and Gruber finishing a close fourth.

Round four of the 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship

Thanks to his run of three podium finishes and a win, Lloyd maintains his lead in the Drivers standings on eighty-seven points, with Engstler and Ang sharing second place, a further twenty-one points back. Gruber is fourth in the standings with fifty points whilst Khoo holds fifth place on thirty-one points.

The final round of the 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship takes place at Sepang International Circuit on February 28th-29th.

Gilbert Ang in the Viper Niza Racing CUPRA TCR

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2020 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2020 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2020 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of TCR Malaysia/Heng Ying unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk: The 2020 Season…

With the new year already one month old and eleven more to go, I wanted to outline the work and articles that you can expect from the TCR Talk blog during the 2020 season of TCR Competition.

As with previous years, we will be following several TCR Series that don’t always get full exposure out there in Media Land. Here are the series TCR Talk will be following this year…

The 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship

Credit: WSC Asia Ltd / TCR Malaysia

As you will already be aware, the first weekend of The 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship took place at the Sepang International Circuit in January, where both Luca Engstler and Nico Gruber took the opening race wins of the season.

With two second places to his credit, 2018 TCR UK Champion Daniel Lloyd leads the standings so far in the Brutal Fish Racing Honda Civic Type R. With the series establishing itself as the winter series to be in if you want to get some early running in the car ahead of the traditional March/April start, TCR Malaysia will once again give the fans an idea of what certain liveries will look like.

TCR Talk will be following the series in its second year of running, with all rounds being held at Sepang International Circuit during the season.

The 2020 TCR Denmark Touring Car Series

Credit: TCR Denmark

TCR Denmark is one of the newest TCR Series to join the global family in 2020 and TCR Talk will covering the first year of action as the Danish series makes its mark in the world of TCR.

With entries already being confirmed for the first season and models such as the Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic, Peugeot 308 and the Alfa Romeo Giuletta, the series is shaping up to have a positive first event and good attendance from local drivers.

TCR Talk will be following the series in its first year of competition with interest, where there will be crossover events with the already established Scandinavia Touring Car Championship during 2020, offering some impressive grids and very talented drivers going for the spoils.

The 2020 TCR Australia Touring Car Series

Credit: ARG / TCR Australia

TCR Australia made its debut in 2019 and what a debut season it enjoyed!

The series enjoyed one of the most successful first seasons for any TCR Series globally with expanding grids on a weekend by weekend basis and an exciting championship battle that went all the way to the final race weekend of the year.

TCR Talk will be following the series in its second year of competition and it will also be reporting on the brand new TCR Asia-Pacific Cup. This new event is open to TCR cars with teams and drivers competing on the Albert Park street circuit as part of the support package to the 2020 Australian Grand Prix.

As for TCR Australia itself, the series will visit new circuits this year, including a debut event at the iconic Mount Panorama venue. Already home to the well known Bathurst 12 hours and the Bathurst 1000, TCR Australia will have a round on the mountain as well.

The 2020 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship

Credit: ADAC / TCR Germany

The ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship returns for its fifth season of competition in 2020 and TCR Talk will be following the series for a second consecutive year.

The series is considered to be one of the toughest national TCR Series to compete in and often, the title fight has gone down to the wire with several drivers in the mix. With 2019 Champion Max Hesse already confirmed to be moving to sportscars as part of the BMW Junior Team, a new champion can be crowned this year.

TCR Talk will be following the series in its fifth year of competition, where entries have already been confirmed in the form of Mike and Michelle Halder. With visits to the Czech Republic, The Netherlands and Austria, The 2020 ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship maintains its international reputation and will be a joy to watch.

The 2020 FIA Motorsport Games – Touring Car Cup

Credit: FIA Motorsport Games / SRO Motorsport Group

2019 saw the FIA Motorsport Games move to a full event for various different regulations of motorsport to compete for Olympic medals: GT Cup, Touring Car Cup, F4 Cup, Drifting Cup, Karting Slalom Cup and Digital Cup

With the 2020 event now confirmed to be taking place at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, the organisers have already announced that the same events will return for this year. This means that touring car fans will once again see TCR cars in action as the chosen regulations by the FIA for the Touring Car Cup.

TCR Talk will be following the second running of this event, once again focusing on the Touring Car Cup itself. With the 2019 event showing some exciting, hard and close racing from Vallelunga in Italy and Team Russia’s Klim Gavrilov taking the Gold Medal in the event, expect to see more entries and exciting racing from this meeting.

TCR USA: The 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge & The 2020 TC America Series 

Credit: IMSA/LAT Images (Richard Dole)

TCR Talk will be continuing its coverage of the America TCR Competition in 2020, where US-based  Reporter Matt Kistler will be watching the TCR class action in both the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and the 2020 TC America Series.

The 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge has already seen its first event completed, the BMW Endurance Challenge, being on the support package during the Rolex 24 at Daytona event. The Road Shagger Racing Audi RS 3 LMS driven by Gavin Ernstone and Jonathan Morley clinched victory in the TCR class at the end of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenger opener at Daytona.

The 2020 TC America Series gets underway over the weekend of March 6-8 at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas where reigning champion and FCP Euro driver Michael Hurczyn will begin his defence in the Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR.

TCR Talk: The Brits Abroad!

Credit: TCR Japan

TCR Talk will once again be following the progress of the British Drivers who race in TCR Series outside of the UK and who are not involved in both TCR Europe and WTCR.

2019 saw three British drivers racing in TCR Series abroad:

Daniel Lloyd ran a full-time campaign in the TCR China Touring Car Championship, where he drove for the MacPro Racing team in a Honda Civic Type R FK7. The 2018 TCR UK Champion went on to finish the season as runner up.

Matt Howson made his touring car debut in the brand new TCR Japan Touring Car Series, where he drove for the KCMG team in a Honda Civic Type R FK7. Howson would go on to become the Saturday Series Champion and was crowned the overall champion.

Bradley Burns made his touring car debut in the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship, where he drove for the Pyro Motorsport team in a Honda Civic Type R FK7. Howson was a leading contender in the Honda Junior Cup before withdrawing from the series before the end of the season.

We’ll be looking out for the British drivers as they compete for honours once again in the various TCR Series around the globe and reporting back on their progress.

Credit: FIA WTCR / DPPI

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2020 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2020 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2020 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Talk Review: 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship – Sepang Part 1

After following the likes of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), the TCR Europe Touring Car Series, the TCR UK Touring Car Championship and the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship in recent seasons, TCR Talk will be following a new series for 2020:

The 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship

Here is the TCR Talk roundup of all the action that took place at Sepang, with both races taking place on Saturday…

Daniel Lloyd emerged as the first leader of TCR Malaysia after the season’s opener at Sepang. The Briton and his Brutal Fish Racing Honda Civic were second in Qualifying and in both races that were won by Luca Engstler and Nico Gruber respectively.

The Hyundai cars showed a superior pace, but as Gruber retired in race one and Engstler had tyre issues in race two, Lloyd claimed the highest score of the weekend. Local racer Gilbert Ang completed a brilliant Touring Car debut as he finished twice third in his Viper Niza Racing CUPRA.

Engstler dominates Qualifying at Sepang

Luca Engstler secured pole position for race one. Credit: TCR Malaysia

In Qualifying, Engstler had claimed pole position with a lap of 2:14.669 that was half-a-second faster than Lloyd’s time of 2:15.219. Gruber had his two fastest laps cancelled due to track limit infringements, leaving him placed seventh on the grid for both races whilst his best effort of 2:15.351 would have meant third position.

Gilbert Ang enjoyed a great start to his debut by putting the Viper Niza Racing CUPRA third on the grid ahead of Engstler’s team-mate Declan Fraser.

Both Freddie Ang and Douglas Khoo locked out row three whilst Gruber started ahead of Yang Xi in the Teamwork Huff Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR. Yang would take the reverse grid pole for race two later on Saturday.

Engstler sweeps to race one victory

Engstler put his knowledge of car and circuit to good use in race one. Credit: TCR Malaysia

Engstler took the lead once the lights went out, staying ahead of Lloyd who managed to stay in close contact during the early stages. The young German driver started to increase his lead from lap five onwards and was able to consistently increase his margin as he crossed the line four seconds ahead of his rival.

Behind them, Fraser defended his third position, but he was soon passed in quick succession by Gilbert Ang, Gruber and Freddie Ang. With two laps to go, both Gruber and Fraser returned to the pits.

Lloyd managed to stay in touch with Engstler in the early laps. Credit: TCR Malaysia

The Austrian Hyundai driver retired having damaged his car in contact with Ang, while the Australian re-joined, having lost one lap for changing the front tyres. This promoted Ang and Xi to fourth and fifth positions respectively.

With Engstler taking the win ahead of Lloyd, it was Freddie Ang who would join them on the podium, with Yang securing the Cup class honours.

Gruber secures maiden victory in race two

Gruber took his maiden TCR win in race two at Sepang. Credit: TCR Malaysia

At the start of the second race of the day, Gruber made a storming start fro second place on the grid, where he pipped pole-sitter Yang to the lead, while Lloyd and Engstler quickly made their way up to second and third places respectively.

It was from this point that Engstler started to put the pressure on his TCR Asia, TCR China and TCR Europe rival Lloyd. For several laps, the Honda driver managed to stay ahead of the four-time TCR Champion and finally held him off during the second half of the race.

Free to advance forwards, Lloyd started after race leader Gruber, however, the Austrian had built a solid margin and went on to claim his maiden TCR win with a one-second margin.

Yang Xi leads the Cup Drivers standings after two wins from two races in Sepang. Credit: Teamwork Huff Motorsport

During the latter stages of the race, Engstler experienced tyre issues and dropped down the order, while Gilbert Ang beat Fraser in the battle for third. Yang secured the Cup class honours once again in the Teamwork Huff Motorsport Audi.

Thanks to his brace of second-place finishes, 2018 TCR UK Champion Lloyd leads the Drivers standings on forty points, with Engstler in second place, a further four points back. Gilbert Ang lies in third place, three points behind Engstler.

TCR Malaysia will resume with rounds 3 and 4 on February 15/16, still at Sepang.

The 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2020 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2020 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2020 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of TCR Malaysia unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!

TCR Malaysia Preview: Engstler vs Lloyd

After following the likes of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), the TCR Europe Touring Car Series, the TCR UK Touring Car Championship and the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship in recent seasons, TCR Talk will be following a new series for 2020:

The 2020 TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship

2019 TCR Malaysia Champion Luca Engstler in action. Credit: Match Chong

The second season of the TCR Malaysia Touring Car Championship kicks off Saturday at the Sepang International Circuit with two back-to-back races of 11 laps each.

Luca Engstler who won the title in the inaugural season last year will defend his crown at the wheel of a Hyundai i30 N run by Team Engstler. The German outfit will field two more cars for a couple of emerging teenagers: the 17-year-old Nico Gruber from Austria and the 19-year-old Declan Fraser from Australia.

Gruber claimed the rookie title in the 2018 British Formula Ford 1600 and raced last year in the ADAC Formula 4, while Fraser was crowned champion in the 2019 Australian Excel Cup one-make series for the Hyundai X3 model.

Engstler’s main competitor will be the 2018 TCR UK champion Daniel Lloyd in the Honda Civic Type R run by Brutal Fish Racing Team. Lloyd has raced alongside Engstler in TCR Asia, TCR China and TCR Europe during 2019, so the English driver will be looking to start the year off with a win.

Dan Lloyd. Credit: TCR Europe / WSC Ltd

Teamwork Huff Motorsport will run an Audi RS 3 LMS for Yang Xi, a Chinese driver who comes from endurance races, while Malaysia-based Viper Niza Racing has entered three CUPRA cars for team principal Douglas Khoo and the brothers Freddie and Gilbert Ang.

Championship titles will once again be offered for the outright title, Teams’ Champion, Drivers’ Champion, Cup Drivers’ Champion (Amateur drivers) and Asian Drivers’ Champions with points accumulated through both qualifying and each of the 30-minute races.

After the season opener, the TCR Malaysia will continue at Sepang with two more race meetings:

2020 TCR Malaysia Championship – Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur
Rounds 1 & 2: 17-18 January 2020
Rounds 3 & 4: 14-16 February 2020
Rounds 5 & 6: 28 February-1 March 2020

Rob Huff made his debut in TCR Malaysia with Teamwork Motorsport. Credit: Match Chong

I will be keeping things up to date on here as well as in The Official TCR Talk Group & The TCR UK Fans Group where members will also be sharing their thoughts and any news from The 2020 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), The 2020 TCR Europe Touring Car Series, The 2020 TCR UK Touring Car Championship and other Domestic & Regional TCR Series from around the world.

All images are used in this blog are courtesy of Match Chong unless otherwise credited.

Until next time, all the best!

Phil!!!