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TCR World Tour pulls out of Australia

THE TCR World Tour will not return to Australia in 2024, it has been announced.

Just one year in, the revised global TCR concept has struck turbulence of sorts.

The inaugural World Tour Final that had been scheduled to take place next month in Portugal has effectively been scrapped, and the 2024 regular season will no longer involve Australia.

As was the case last year, there had been due to be two 2024 World Tour rounds Down Under at Sydney Motorsport Park (November 1-3) and Mount Panorama (November 8-10).

But that leg of the calendar has been eliminated due to logistical challenges associated with getting the fleet back to Macau in time for the November 14-17 round.

The news is a headache for the Australian Racing Group’s Bathurst International event, of which the TCR World Tour had been angled as the cornerstone – although a 2025 return is hoped.

V8 Sleuth understands ARG held discussions with the Bathurst Regional Council on Wednesday and is exploring alternatives for the 2024 event.

That chiefly is set to involve attracting European stars to drive for Australian teams, while the feasibility of bringing New Zealand-based TCR cars across could be investigated.

Industry sources, however, have ruled out the possibility of a 500km enduro-type format, with teams generally unwilling to go down the path of revamping cars to make refuelling possible.

Meanwhile, Race Sydney has been cancelled altogether, with TCR Australia’s visit to Sydney Motorsport Park shifting forward to the October 18-20 meeting.

The Australian Racing Group’s full statement:

WSC Group, the promoter of the Kumho FIA TCR World Tour, has advised the Australian Racing Group it is not in a position to race in Australia in 2024. This is due to issues that are delaying international deliveries around the globe in 2024 as a result of current international events.

The two previously announced Australian rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park and Mount Panorama will not form part of the Kumho FIA TCR World Tour calendar in 2024, however both circuits will remain on the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series calendar as host venues for the penultimate and final rounds respectively.

WSC has advised ARG of its decision more than eight months ahead of the first scheduled Australian round, after forward planning highlighted the increasing challenges for Kumho FIA TCR World Tour teams to commit to sending multiple race cars and associated infrastructure to Australia.

While understandably disappointed by the news, ARG remains committed, with the support of WSC, to delivering a TCR race of international significance at this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst International and ensuring Australian drivers have the opportunity to once again compete against elite level TCR drivers from around the world.

As a result of this decision, the Race Sydney event will no longer take place on 1-3 November, and the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series will now join the existing Shannons SpeedSeries Sydney round on 18-20 October. The previously announced date for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International (November 8-10) remains unchanged.

WSC has indicated it plans to return in 2025 and beyond, with the FIA international series intended to be a key part of the future of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International.

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