Champion tipping 2024 TCR Australia influx

TCR at the 2023 Bathurst International. Pic: Supplied/Daniel Kalisz

NEWLY crowned TCR Australia champion Josh Buchan believes the category will be bigger and better next year thanks to the World Tour’s recent presence Down Under.

Australia this month hosted the third-last and second-last rounds of the inaugural World Tour regular season, at Sydney Motorsport Park and Bathurst.

It made for intense racing action and saw local drivers stack up strongly against international stars.

TCR Australia has experienced a relatively difficult 2023 with lower than usual field sizes, but the World Tour element was targeted as a springboard to an improved 2024.

Buchan initially doubted that would prove the case but is now a believer.

“Coming into World Tour, I was probably a little bit of a sceptic in terms of if it would boost the category moving forward, if I’m totally honest,” the Hyundai driver told V8 Sleuth.

“But after being involved, particularly Sydney, it was ridiculous and I can honestly see people doing the other five rounds of the year just to be involved in those two.

MORE: What now for Australia’s new TCR king?

“For some, obviously TCR is a lot more accessible than Supercar land or anything like that which just has ridiculous budgets and is quite locked away.

“There’s no other category on the planet that you can be competitive against world champions and the elite quite as accessibly.

“So I can definitely see it propping the category up moving forward.”

A new-for-2024 broadcast package centred around increased free-to-air coverage is also hoped to help contribute to an upward trend in participation.

Norbert Michelisz sealed the regular season World Tour title last weekend in Macau.

A series final is still to come next March in Portugal, for which Will Brown, Tony D’Alberto and Aaron Cameron all should have automatic entry by virtue of finishing inside the global top 15 rankings.

Connor O’Brien joined V8 Sleuth in 2022 as website Editor. He won the Supercars Media Award in 2017 while working as a sports reporter at the Gold Coast Bulletin, before stints at Supercars and Speedcafe. During his time at V8 Sleuth he's twice (2022, 2023) been named Journalist of the Year at the Supercars Media Awards.