TCR Europe set to end season with most points-scoring entries of 2023
TCR Europe is set for its biggest grid of points-scoring entries at Barcelona this weekend since its visit to the track last year.
There will be 15 cars on track in total for the season finale, which is dwarfed by the 20-plus figures attracted for the rounds that counted towards the TCR World Tour but is the biggest of the four rounds that are only awarding TCR Europe points.
But there was never any more than 13 drivers who were eligible to score until the penultimate round at Monza, which had a 14-car grid, and all drivers this weekend will be competing for TCR Europe points as well as position when battling each other.
In terms of the points picture, Comtoyou Racing’s Tom Coronel, Kobe Pauwels and John Filippi are the drivers who remain in title contention and Coronel has a 10-point lead over Pauwels, who in turn is 15 points ahead of Filippi. With 10 points awarded for pole, the top two could end up level heading into the weekend’s two races.
There are three other Comtoyou drivers, and with Volcano Motorsport and RC2 Racing also running Audi RS 3 LMS TCRs it means more than two thirds of the grid will be using the German car.
The exceptions are MA:GP’s Viktor Andersson in his Lynk & Co 03 TCR, Aggressive Team Italia duo Mauro Guastamacchia and Levente Losonczy in Hyundai Elantra N TCRs and ALM Motorsport’s Ruben Volt, who after getting his first win at Monza carries 40 kilograms of success ballast in his Honda Civic Type R FL5 TCR at Barcelona.
That’s four times more than anyone else, with Pauwels, Filippi and their team-mates Nicola Baldan and Viktor Davidovski all carrying 10kg.
During the Paul Ricard round, Hyundai-running team Target Competition withdrew over Balance of Performance concerns. They appeared on the Monza entry list with Dušan Borković named as driving one of their cars, but did not turn up, and are on the entry list again this weekend but have not said if they are actually intending to race.
Meanwhile PMA Motorsport’s Felice Jelmini is not on the entry list, but is listed as having 10kg of success ballast on his Audi this weekend and he is already at the track.
He made his first series appearance of 2023 at Monza, and another familiar face is Pepe Oriola who has won in TCR Europe in the past and returns to the series this weekend with RC2.
TCR Europe’s final round begins with two 30-minute practice sessions on Friday, with the first starting at 09:00 CEST and the second at 14:16. Teams are back on track at 11:30 on Saturday for qualifying (which is split into a 20-minute first segment and 10-minute second segment), then the 12-lap Race 1 is at 17:55. The season concludes on Sunday with Race 2, another 12-lapper, at 12:20.