The Autodromo di Monza, arguably the most famous racetrack in the world, will be the perfect setting for Rounds 9 and 10 of the TCR International Series this upcoming weekend.
Known as the Temple of Speed because of the super-fast average times that are clocked by all different categories of racing cars, Monza was inaugurated in 1922 becoming only the third permanent racetrack in the world after Brooklands in the UK and Indianapolis.
Monza is still the home of the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix and has hosted a great deal of famous competitions such as the 1000 KM for Sport Prototypes (1963 / 2008), the Motorcycling Grand Prix of Nations, the 500 Miles Race of Two Worlds (1957 / 1958) and the FIA Touring Car World Cup (1993).
The layout of the circuit that combines long straights, tight chicanes and hard braking points always provides exciting touring car races in which top speed, slipstreaming and braking can make the difference.
The programme of the will follow the usual pattern: Saturday will feature two thirty-minute Free Practice sessions and one thirty-minute Qualifying, split into Q1 (20 minutes for all drivers) and Q2 (10 minutes for the fastest twelve in Q1).
The two races will then take place on Sunday, back-to-back over a distance of 60 kilometres.
In addition to this, on Friday teams will be given the opportunity to take part in a full day test.
TCR in Monza – the event at a glance
Lap distance: 5.79 km
Race distance: 11 laps (63.72 km)
Grids: determined by Qualifying results (Q1+Q2) with top-10 reversed for Race 2
Timetable: Saturday, 09:30/10:00 Free Practice 1
Saturday, 12:00/12:30 Free Practice 2
Saturday, 15:00/15:35 Qualifying (Q1 + Q2)
Sunday, 12:35 Race 1
Sunday, 14:05 Race 2
all times: CET
Jordi Gené to carry the maximum Success Ballast in Monza
Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil’s Jordi Gené will carry the maximum Success Ballast of 30 kilos on board his SEAT León car during the next event in Monza. The Spaniard emerged as the best scorer in the previous race meeting in Portugal, pocketing 37 points thanks to one second and one third in the two races plus the second fastest time in qualifying.
Michel Nykjær of Target Competition, the winner of the second race in Algarve, will be given 10 kilos of Success Ballast as the third best scorer of the event.
The 20 kilos of extra weight for the second best scorer should have been allocated to Nicki Thiim who won Race 1 in Portugal. However, the Dane will not take part in the Monza event and therefore he will receive the Success Ballast in the case he rejoins the championship later during the season.
End of the exemption for Audi TT cars
WSC Ltd., the Promoter of the TCR International Series, has announced that the special exemption granted to the Liqui Moly Team Engstler to run two Audi TT cars in the first events of the season has now expired.
Marcello Lotti, WSC CEO explained: “The exemption was granted with the spirit to support our new series and also to allow Audi Sport customer racing to collect information about the necessary requirements for a successful technical platform, which could fit to the TCR regulations. In the light of the latest results, we believe that both these aims have been successfully achieved. Therefore, together with the team and Audi Sport customer racing we have decided to end this exemption; also in the respect of the other competitors that have accepted the situation with a true sporting spirit.”
The Ford Focus ST returns to TCR in Monza
The Onyx Engineering-built Ford Focus ST returns to the TCR International Series in Monza.
After a brief and unfortunate appearance in the season’s opener at Sepang, the Focus has successfully completed a test day at Brands Hatch, with Tom Boardman at the wheel.
Onyx boss Mike Earle commented: “The car ran well and performed as we hoped it would. The engine that our partner Mountune has produced is particularly impressive, very strong. We had a couple of things to sort out during the day as you would expect with a brand new car, but looking at the data and the feedback from Boardman, it is very encouraging.”
After the test the car was delivered to Proteam Racing that will run it in the TCR International Series from Monza onwards.
New teams and drivers join the field in Monza
Eighteen cars have been entered for the TCR International Series event in Monza.
In addition to the return of Proteam Racing’s Ford Focus, four new drivers in SEAT León cars are ready for making their first appearance in the championship.
Three of them have just began their motorsport careers: Antonio D’Amico, Zsolt Dávid Szabó and Francesco Riva.
D’Amico (23) will race for Davide Bernasconi’s B.D. Racing; he made his automobile sport debut last year, finishing 9th in the Italian SEAT Ibiza Cupra Cup and claiming a class victory in the 4 Hours of Mugello.
Zengő Motorsport returns to the TCR after taking part in the first two events of the season at Sepang and Shanghai. In Monza the team will run two cars for the 19-year-old Hungarian Szabó, a rookie in this year’s SEAT León Eurocup, and Italian Touring Car veteran Davide Roda.
Riva, who is also in his first racing season, will drive a fourth SEAT entered by Target Competition.
Live streaming and timing available from Monza
The TCR International Series event in Italy will receive extensive coverage on the internet.
Live streaming from Monza will be available on the series’ official website www.tcr-series.com.
Coverage will begin Saturday with the Qualifying session at 14.55 Central European Time; the two races will be streamed on Sunday back-to-back from 13.20 CET.
Live timing will also be available on the official website, covering all Saturday’s sessions and Sunday’s races.