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New TCR UK chief hoping for “slow growth” in 2019

The new Chief Operating Officer of the TCR UK Championship says he hopes to see “slow growth” from the series in 2019.

TCR was launched in the UK market last year and whilst 19 drivers would appear on track over the course of the campaign, just eight lined up on the grid at Croft for the penultimate meeting of the year.

A revised calendar for 2019 is one of the main changes for the second season of the series, with the decision also taken to bring in David Sonenscher to the role of COO.

Having played a key role in establishing TCR in the Asian market, Sonenscher will now be tasked with helping TCR UK to grow and expressed confidence that the series can establish itself in the marketplace during the year ahead.

“Last year was the first year for TCR UK and we learned a lot of lessons but the most important thing was to establish the championship, which we did,” he said during an interview at the Autosport International Show. “Of course we would have liked more cars at some rounds, but we did the ground work to put TCR on the map in the UK and in 2019, the idea is to grow the championship.

“The interest in touring car racing in the UK is huge because of the brilliant racing and the great action, and whilst there is a series of great heritage in the BTCC, we know that TCR can co-exist alongside it. We formed our calendar to make sure there were no clashes so that people could compete in and follow both, and can see from the feedback we received from fans last year that there is an appetite for it.

“What we now want to do is to provide a better show and we are putting all of our effort into that. We have to try and grow this year and we know that things won’t change overnight. It will be slow growth, but we are committed to the series and I think people will see that during the year ahead.

“TCR UK isn’t a flash in the pan. We are here to grow the series and do it properly.”

A sign of that desire to grow is the race alongside TCR Europe at Spa during the summer, with Sonenscher adding it was important for the series to provide drivers with the opportunity to showcase their talents at a higher level.

“Spa is an iconic circuit and good addition to the calendar,” he said. “With TCR being the global platform that it is, we wanted to give people the chance to race alongside their European counterparts as part of a huge grid on a brilliant circuit.

“For a start, it will provide drivers with the opportunity to see how they can progress from TCR UK up to TCR Europe, and it is also a way to drive home that anyone who is competing in TCR UK is part of a wider global family, which we feel is very important.”