Comtoyou says FIA TCR World Tour entry would require support from new manufacturer
Comtoyou Racing has stated it will likely not be on the 2024 FIA TCR World Tour grid following the end of support from Audi and that an entry would require support from another manufacturer.
Comtoyou Racing has fielded Audis since 2017 in the FIA WTCR and last year in the TCR World Tour where Rob Huff claimed the bronze medal.
Audi’s decision to end financial support to customer teams in various categories, such as TCR, has made a big impact on Comtoyou Racing’s programme and plans for 2024.
“At this time, we have not made a final decision on whether or not to participate in one of the TCR championships,” said team principal Jean-Michel Baert to TouringCarTimes.
“It is clear that the end of support by Audi strongly calls into question participation in the world championship as well as the participation, in an Audi, of official drivers qualified for the TCR World Ranking final.
“There are a lot of cars and drivers available on the market and we have the knowledge and the manpower. Our results in the discipline are extraordinary, and it would be a shame not to be able to be on the grid this year.
“In conclusion, we could only be present in the FIA TCR World Tour on the condition of having an official programme entirely supported by a manufacturer, even if we regret the arms race carried out by the other competitors as these factory programmes are strongly distant from the basic philosophy of the TCR.
“A major world championship is all well and good, but we still need to have the competitors.”
Comtoyou Racing dominated the 2023 TCR Europe season last year, fielding four full-season entries and claiming the top four places in the championship, with Tom Coronel as the drivers’ champion.
Whether the Belgian team will return to TCR Europe this year depends on their customers, and Comtoyou Racing’s main focus will be on their new Aston Martin GT3 programme.
“Concerning the regional and local championships, it will be up to our potential customers to make the decision since this is pure customer racing, which is, I remind you, the initial philosophy of the TCR,” said Baert.
“What is certain is that we are focusing our energy on developing our new relationship with Aston Martin and the new Vantage GT3. We will have an intense programme with them, and once again, from the first season in GT3 we won titles and we showed the other competitors that they will have to take us into account.”