TCR Australia confirm tyre deal, provisional race format

Organisers of the new TCR Australia series have confirmed a multi-year deal with Michelin to take on the role of tyre supplier.

Michelin is no stranger to TCR competition having been sole supplier to the TCR International Series for three seasons, with the French firm also acting as exclusive provider to a number of TCR-based championships around the globe.

“We are very excited about partnering with the TCR Australia category and vehicle manufacturers that serve it,” Patrick Dias, Michelin’s Motorsports director for the Asia-Pacific region, said. “We use motorsport as a laboratory for our tyre development. The data collected during races allows engineers to work on new technologies which are carried over to our road tyres.

“Michelin’s interest in the TCR championship is based on two chief considerations. First of all, TCR’s international status provides Michelin with visibility not only in the world’s mature markets, such as Europe, but also in the fast-emerging markets of South America and southern Asia.

“Secondly, the philosophy behind the TCR series enables cars derived from production models to compete, and the idea of racing with cars that are similar to their road-going counterparts – fits perfectly with the Michelin group’s vision.”

As well as confirming the new tyre deal, the series has also confirmed that it plans to run three races at each of the seven rounds that make up the 2019 schedule.

Whilst the first season will therefore run to a sprint format, investigations are ongoing into the possibility of running longer endurance events from 2020 onwards.

The two announcements were made as the four TCR cars that have arrived in Australia – Audi, Honda, Volkswagen and Hyundai – hit the track in Sydney to give potential entrants the chance to sample the machines.

“We are very pleased to announce a prestigious and world-renowned brand such as Michelin to be our official tyre supplier to TCR Australia from next year,” Matt Braid, director of series promoters the Australian Racing Group, said. “There was significant interest in the control tyre supply agreement for the category, and we feel very privileged to have Michelin as our inaugural tyre partner.

“The decision to select Michelin as the tyre supplier was based on their experience in Asian and European TCR competition, their comprehensive level of support they are able to provide on and off track, and their intention to use TCR Australia series in their consumer marketing activities.”