TCR International Series to feature 22-car entry list for 2016 season
The entry list for the 2016 TCR International Series season has been published. The first race, which will be held within the support package of the FIA Formula One World Championship, will enjoy a never-before-seen variety of manufacturers on the grid, with six different manufacturers.
“We are satisfied, as we mustn’t forget that we are only entering in the second year; the start-up phase is not over yet and some cars are still under development,” said series director Marcello Lotti.
“However, it is clear that the championship will deliver a variety of different cars and that the level of teams and drivers is growing. We are pleased to see most of last year’s faces returning and to welcome the newcomers; among them I’d like to point out the participation of Michela Cerruti, the first lady to commit for the full season. And there is more to come. I am not allowed to name them, but we expect three more brands to join the championship during the season.”
Six of the updated versions of the championship winning SEAT León Cup Racer will be joined this season on by four of their “sisters”, the Volkswagen Golf. Honda will again be present with the WestCoast Racing Civic TCR Step 2s.
TSubaru will also be back on track, with Top Run behind the car and Luigi Ferrara in one car, the other is TBC. The Romeo Ferraris built Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR will be brought on track for the first time in a competitive environment, with former Superstars Series race winner Michela Cerruti behind the wheel, with Mulsanne Racing running the car.
Craft Bamboo Lukoil will field three new-spec SEAT Leóns, with Pepe Oriola and Sergey Afanasyev joined by top British driver James Nash. Three more SEATs will be on track with the 2016 spec version, with B3 Racing fielding 2015 European Champion Dusan Borkovic alongside ETCC front runner Mat’o Homola and Hungarian teenager Attila Tassi.
Engstler Motorsport will continue to run two Volkswagen Golfs, with Mikhail Grachev carrying on after last year’s international debut and joined by reigning ETCC TC2T champion Davit Kajaia. Volkswagen will also be represented by Leopard Racing, with a very strong line-up featuring 2015 champion Stefano Comini alongside French driver Jean-Karl Vernay.
Target Competition will field three Opel Astras, with Andrea Belicchi and Jordi Oriola forming the line-up in Bahrain, with a third car to follow later in the year. The two have already had spells in the TCR International Series with the team, with the Spaniard, Pepe’s younger brother, having had one outing in a SEAT León, coming close to a Race 2 podium and Belicchi involved in the title challenge for the first part of the season.
WestCoast Racing will again run Honda’s operation in the TCR International Series, carrying on with the strong pair formed by Gianni Morbidelli and Kevin Gleason, further strengthened by the addition of Finn Aku Pellinen.
Top Run will have Luigi Ferrara behind the wheel of their Subaru WRX STi TCR, the driver from Apulia being a former Formula 3 champion and a race winner in the International Superstars Series.
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR will make its much anticipated debut in the championship, in the hands of Michela Cerruti, making six different manufacturers on the grid in Bahrain, and seven for the season.
2016 TCR International Series Entry List
No – Driver – Nat – Team – Car
1 – Stefano Comini – SUI – Leopard Racing (WRT) – Volkswagen Golf TCR
2 – Jean-Karl Vernay – FRA – Leopard Racing (WRT) – Volkswagen Golf TCR
23 – Andrea Belicchi – ITA – Target Competition – Opel Astra TCR
33 – Jordi Oriola – SPN – Target Competition – Opel Astra TCR
35 – TBC – Target Competition – Opel Astra TCR*
74 – Pepe Oriola – SPN – Craft-Bamboo Racing – SEAT León TCR
77 – Sergey Afanasyev – RUS – Craft-Bamboo Racing – SEAT León TCR
54 – James Nash – GBR – Craft-Bamboo Racing – SEAT León TCR
10 – Gianni Morbidelli – ITA – WestCoast Racing – Honda Civic TCR
24 – Kevin Gleason – USA – WestCoast Racing – Honda Civic TCR
14 – Aku Pellinen – FIN – WestCoast Racing – Honda Civic TCR
7 – Davit Kajaia – GEO – Engstler Motorsport – Volkswagen Golf TCR
8 – Mikhail Grachev – RUS – Engstler Motorsport – Volkswagen Golf TCR
32 – Luigi Ferrara – ITA – Top Run Motorsport – Subaru WRX STi
34 – TBC – Top Run Motorsport – Subaru WRX STi*
TBC – TBC – FRD Motorsports – Ford Focus TCR*
TBC – TBC – FRD Motorsports – Ford Focus TCR*
62 – Dusan Borkovic – SER – B3 Racing – SEAT León TCR
70 – Mat’o Homola – SLK – B3 Racing – SEAT León TCR
9 – Attila Tassi – HUN – B3 Racing – SEAT León TCR
88 – Michaela Cerruti – ITA – Mulsanne Racing – Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR
87 – TBC – Mulsanne Racing – Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR*
* Late season entry