- TCR International Series 2016 kicks off on the Bahrain International Circuit
- Target Competition with two Opel Astra TCR driven by Jordi Oriola and Andrea Belicchi
- Testing under special conditions
|Campaign opener in Bahrain: Two Opel Astra TCR of Team Target Competition will compete for this first time this season.|
Opel’s touring car tradition. Two new Astra TCR cars, run by the Italian Target Competition Team, will take to the track in the kingdom on the shores of the Persian Gulf. Thirty-nine-year-old Italian veteran Andrea Belicchi and 19-year-old Spanish youngster Jordi Oriola will be behind the steering wheel of the customer racing cars from Rüsselsheim.
|Opel drivers: Italian veteran Andrea Belicchi (39) and 19-year-old Jordi Oriola from Spain will be behind the steering wheels of the 330hp Astra TCRs.|
The Astra TCR is thus facing it first major challenge. The technical staff of Opel Motorsport and Target Competition made significant progress in relation to the vehicle set-up during the final test drives on the Spanish Valencia circuit. 1993 German Touring Car championship winner and former Formula One driver Nicola Larini also stated that the Opel Astra TCR “has a very good handling”. Larini was responsible for test all the TCR cars of the different brands to create a basis of the “Balance of Performance” (BoP).
BoP uses the key elements weight and engine performance to create a balance between all vehicle concepts and thus give every carmaker the chance to field a competitive car for customer sport. Equal opportunity is one of the key characteristics of the TCR (Touring Car Racer Series) that was developed for five-door compact class cars with a maximum engine displacement of 2.0 liters. Another major factor in favor of the TCR is the possible use of the vehicles in a multitude of national and continental championships in addition to the global TCR International Series. Three races of the international competition, including the one in Bahrain, will be held as part of the Formula 1 Grand Prix supporting program. Each round of the TCR consists of two heats.
Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott is already excited ahead of the Astra TCR’s competitive debut but is also managing expectations. “We are a newcomer to the TCR series with our Astra and will definitely need a bit more time to further optimize the vehicle. Furthermore, the conditions in the desert are unique. Therefore, we should treat the two races in Bahrain as another important test. We aim to learn as much as possible to have a fine-tuned the Astra TCR as soon as possible after the races.”
|For customer racing: Opel Astra TCR is based on the serial production Astra and benefits from its lightweight construction and outstanding aerodynamics.|