The fourth TCR Asia Series 2018 just wrapped up last week at Shanghai, and now we have confirmation of the addition of TCR Malaysia series to be launched in January 2019.
The plan is to attract racing teams from other TCR championships within the region looking for a suitable venue for testing and further develop their team during the off-season. The same goes for teams in Europe which are unable to run during the winter break. The latter not only get to have extra racing time but also continue on a tropical holiday.
David Sonenscher, of WSC Asia Ltd. Said, “It’s funny, we say ‘winter’ in Asia, but that is just a term for the months at that time of the year as the weather here in Malaysia is still as hot as usual.”
“The reality is that conditions are perfect that time of year especially for those teams and drivers who cannot run cars whilst is it snowing or very cold elsewhere, and for TCR it provides a fantastic platform to prepare for the season ahead.”
“As it turns out, a large number of teams are also based at Sepang International Circuit, so it is low cost for them. Last year I noticed that they did a huge amount of off-season testing and so we decided it would be a good idea to give them more of a purpose to run their cars, especially as the cost difference between racing and testing in a single venue is marginal.”
Sonenscher added that the new track lighting system at Sepang gives the opportunity for the race to be held under lights, the second after the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix.
Three Malaysians were involved in the 2018 season of TCR Asia, namely Abdul Kaathir, Douglas Khoo, and Mitchell Cheah, the latter who is a member of the Sepang Driver Development programme. They each finished at ninth, sixth, and second place in the championship respectively.
Launched in 2015, TCR now has more than 30 TCR Series and Championships contested globally, the concept in just four years proving the best platform for customer racing with more than 600 cars in the market. All cars used in the series are based on production hot-hatches that includes the Honda Civic Type-R, Seat Leon, and Golf GTI. Engines are all turbocharged with 2.0-litre capacity making 300bhp.