TCR International Series: Record setting grid of 25 cars at Buriram
Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand will host its first international car racing event this weekend. That will be the penultimate round of the TCR International Series. The racetrack was inaugurated last year and the only international event on it was the World SuperBike Championship in March this year. The circuit, designed by Hermann Tilke, is located on the southern outskirts of Buriram, 400 kilometres east of Bangkok. The track features twelve corners for a length of 4.5 kilometres.
A record-setting TCR grid is ready for the race at Buriram. A total of 25 cars are on the entry list, three more than the previous record at the Singapore race. Two new outfits will make their first appearance in the series – Asia Racing Team from China and Niza Racing from Malaysia, with a total of three Seat Leon cars.
Among the newcomers are some very famous names – Alain Menu will drive second Top Run’s Subaru while Hugo Valente, who regularly drives Campos Racing Chevrolet Cruze in WTCC, now will try Opel Astra OPC of the same team. There will be also be the American BTCC driver Robb Holland, who will be driving the Ford Focus of FRD HK Racing Team. The Buriram event also counts for TCR Asia Series so the grid will be full of Asian drivers, some of them for the first time in TCR, on example Johnson Huang, Douglas Khoo, Munkong Sathienthirakul or Tin Sritrai.
Of course, the regular drivers will be in focus, in particular, the five of who are still in the fight for first TCR International championship title. With two events and four races left, the maximum award is 110 points.
Five drivers are inside that margin: Stefano Comini (Target Competition), Pepe Oriola and Jordi Gene (both Craft-Bamboo Lukoil), Gianni Morbidelli and Kevin Gleason (both West Coast Racing). First three drive Seat Leons, West Coast drivers have Honda Civics. In the Teams’ classification, Craft-Bamboo Lukoil and Target Competition are split by only two points, while West Coast Racing ranks in third position with a gap of 71 points.