“What’s the status of TCR UK?”
TCR UK. There wasn’t half an uproar about the introduction of the championship and what it could mean for the landscape of UK motorsport and its future.
Things started off well; a number of major UK teams, predictably many from the British Touring Car Championship, looked at or bought cars. It looked like it was a perfect opportunity for them to earn a bit of extra cash to pump back into touring car programmes and to diversify. A win-win.
It also looked like a good place for graduates from the TOCA support series like the Renault UK Clio Cup and Ginetta Junior. To get a bit of tin-top practice in before making the step up to the ultra-competitive BTCC, where many can be overpowered by the level of competition and don’t get the chance to hang around as long as they potentially deserve.
However, post-christmas the momentum has taken a bit of a knock. While November chatter was about how many grids it would have to run to accommodate cars, the current gossip is centred on if the championship will reach double figures. Or even run at all.
Read to the left and you’ll see the organisers have confirmed without hesitation that it’s business as usual and the championship will run. Yokohama and Ohlins are onboard and further details – although there could be even more exciting news in this department in the future – on TV deals have been forthcoming in recent weeks. The championship bosses are working hard to make sure the series is attracting the right teams.
There’s a lot more work to do. But on the whole TCR UK, speaking from a personal point of view and still without bias, can surely only be a good thing. It’s a step on the ladder that fits in between championships at a reasonable budget.
The option remains to rent or compete in the car abroad. The latter needs some work as there’s not currently a subsidy for drivers who have paid an entry in the UK and then have to pay again in Germany, or Asia for example. If you want to encourage competitors to compete in various championships, that will need looking at.
And speaking of the entry fee, it’s not outrageous, although £15,000 looks it on the outside. It’s around £1000 less that Clios, although that does have ITV coverage.
There’s definitely a gap for TCR UK, it appears a few people have forgotten so. That’s their prerogative. It is sad though that some feel the need to stir up rumours and attempt to taint the reputation of the championship.
There’s still work to be done, but all is not lost. There’s cars on order according to the organiser, and there’s nowhere like the UK for people to leave entering championships late.
The proof is well and truly in the pudding, but instead of speculation without foundations, maybe it’s time to let the championship settle.