At the end of a particularly busy month, competitors of the TCR International Series will convene at the Austrian Salzburgring only a few days after racing at Monza.
After the two thrilling races that took place last Sunday on the super-fast Italian Autodromo, TCR drivers must face another high-speed track once again.
All the drivers who have raced at the Salzburgring have a lot of respect for this old-fashioned circuit that lies at the bottom of a narrow Alpine valley surrounded by spectacular peaks. The combination of long straights with fast corners and a tricky chicane always results in the fastest average speed for any kind of racing cars. And this also means that mistakes are both easily made and cost dearly.
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 morning teams will have the opportunity to take part in a one-hour test session.
TCR in Salzburg – the event at a glance
Lap distance: 4.24 km
Race distance: 15 laps (63.61 km)
Grids: determined by Qualifying results (Q1+Q2) with top-10 reversed for Race 2
Saturday, 10:00/10:30 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
Morbidelli’s Honda Civic laden by 30 kgs of Success Ballast
It is hardly a surprise for WestCoast Racing and Gianni Morbidelli to know that their Honda Civic #10 must carry the maximum Success Ballast of 30 kilos at the Salzburgring.
Indeed, the Italian driver pocketed the maximum amount of points at stake during the previous race meeting at Monza – 55 – by claiming pole position and winning both races. Something that no other driver has been able to do so far.
The Craft-Bamboo Lukoil SEAT León of Jordi Gené will be laden by 20 kilos of ballast as a consequence of the 30 points scored by the Spaniard at Monza, while the 10 kilos of extra weight for the third best scorer will be allocated to another SEAT car, that of Andrea Belicchi.
The Target Competition driver collected 26 points at Monza and the single point he scored by qualifying fifth made the difference against the score of Campos Racing’s Fernando Monje (25) whose Opel Astra will not receive any ballast.
Afanasyev to pay grid penalty in Salzburgring’s Race 1
Sergey Afanasyev of Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil will be dropped five places on the grid of the first race this upcoming weekend at the Salzburgring.
An investigations conducted by Stewards of the Meeting after last Sunday’s races at Monza concluded that the Russian driver was guilty of causing a pile-up at the Roggia Chicane that eliminated Michel Nykjær and Mikhail Grachev in the later stages of the first race.
As a consequence, both Afanasyev’s and Nykjær’s cars suffered from extensive damage and could not take part in Race 2.
Another enquiry following the Monza races resulted in the Stewards imposing two reprimands to Gianni Morbidelli for two separate incidents involving Stefano Comini in laps 7 and 11 of the second race.
Monje and Schouten rejoin for the Austrian event
Following his outstanding performance in Monza, where he drove the Campos Racing Opel Astra OPC to its first podium in the TCR International Series, Fernando Monje will drive the car again at the Salzburgring.
Monje’s third place in the second race at Monza earned him much praise from other competitors and the press. Now the Spaniard is aiming for more, especially because he knows and loves the Austrian circuit where he claimed a double victory in the 2012 FIA ETCC.
Another driver who rejoins TCR in Austria is Bas Schouten from the Netherlands who will be at the wheel of a SEAT León run by the Bas Koeten Racing in cooperation with ST Motorsport.
The Dutch outfit made its maiden appearance in the championship in the third race meeting of the season at Valencia’s Circuito Ricardo Tormo, where Schouten impressed, only missing out on a podium result in the second race due to a fuel pump failure on the last lap.
Live streaming and timing available from Salzburgring
The TCR International Series event in Austria will receive extensive coverage on the internet.
Live streaming 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 also available on the official website, covering all Saturday’s sessions and Sunday’s races.