This year, the 7.004km Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps hosts a first of its kind endurance race dedicated exclusively to touring cars. But which teams can we expect to see battling for supremacy up front?
Audi RS3 LMS TCR
Dual entry for former Spa 24 Hours winner, Team WRT
BTCC front-runners Team Dynamics teams with WRC Developments
Can AC Motorsport avenge near-miss in 24H TCE SERIES?
Two-car entry for Rob Huff’s Teamwork Huff Motorsport
Among the front-runners at Spa-Francorchamps will almost certainly be Team WRT, which enters two Audi RS3 LMS SEQs (#10 and #11). Currently competing as ‘Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport’ in the World Touring Car Cup, Team WRT is, fittingly, a two-time winner of the Spa 24 Hours. Its young guns have also successfully claimed the TCR International Series Drivers’ championship (twice) the TCR Benelux Drivers’ championship (twice), and the TCR Benelux Teams’ title (yep, twice). Currently, the Belgian team also lies 2nd overall in the TCR Europe standings. Expect a BIG reaction for its hometown fans.
Fresh from its robust challenge for the 24H SERIES TCE Teams’ championship, AC Motorsport – another Belgian fan favourite – enters the TCR SPA 500 with entry #8. Newly crowned 24H SERIES Europe CUP1-class champion Bonk Motorsport also brings a 1-car line-up to Spa-Francorchamps #50.
Speaking of front-runners, who could ignore Team Dynamics with WRC Developments? The British Touring Car Championship icon, which will run the WRC Developments-owned Audi (#3, Will Neal / Henry Neal / Aaron Rhys Cameron / Jake Giddings /James Kaye), has helped four different drivers to seven championships in the UK-based series alone, not to mention innumerable podiums and race wins. Premature retirement from this year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI will no doubt have left the team hungry for victory.
Gianluca de Lorenzi’s GDL Racing enters a ‘Team Australia’ car at the TCR SPA 500 (#9, Malcolm Niall / Brett Niall / Clint Harvey / Darryl Clarke / Rory Penttinen) using the Audi RS3 LMS intended for this year’s TCR DSG Endurance Touring Car Championship. Also running a brand new Audi RS3 LMS will be the first of two entries from Motorsport developpement (#102, Hervé Maillien / Philippe Ulivieri / Pierre-Étienne Chaumat / Sebastien Tyhon) as well as CUP1 regular QSR Racing, which teams up with Ferda Autosport (#54, Jon Miller / Chris Allen / Ramana Lagemann / Lance Bergstein) for the Belgian event.
The Volkswagen Golf line-up is completed courtesy of a three-car assault from Teamwork Huff Motorsport (#23, #24 and #25), the TCR outfit co-operated by former World Touring Car Champion, Rob Huff. The Hong Kong-based outfit ran a part-campaign in the Touring Car Trophy / TCR UK Series this year, securing a podium on its maiden series outing, and has entered two cars in both this year’s TCR Asia and the Macau Touring Car Cup. TCR Asia teammates Sunny Wong and Alex Hui, together with Paul Poon and Samuel Hsieh, form the PRO/AM line-up in the #24 Golf GTi TCR SEQ, while Andy Yan, Rainey He and Neric Wei will compete in the sister #23 Teamwork Huff Motorsport Volkswagen.
Macau PS Racing (#853, Filipe Souza / Louis Weng / Ryan Wong / Kelvin Wong), the field’s only entrant from ‘the Vegas of China’, completes the Audi line-up.
Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
24H TCE SERIES Europe champion Autorama / Wolf-Power signs up for TCR SPA 500
Multi-national VW team line-up
Following its maiden race with the #114 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR DSG at this year’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA, newly crowned 24H TCE SERIES Europe champion Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing will be looking to continue its commanding run of form at Spa-Francorchamps.
Fellow 24H SERIES regulars Holmgaard Motorsport (#2, Magnus Holmgaard / Jonas Holmgaard / Roy Edland / Rowan Shepherd) and Lestrup Racing Team (#110, Mats Olsson / Stefan Nilsson / Peter Fahlström) join the TCR SPA 500 grid with their established Volkswagen Golf GTI TCRs, the former hoping to avenge a potential lost podium at last month’s Hankook 24H BARCELONA, the latter a former TCR Scandinavia race winner on a roll after a strong run in GT4 Scandinavia. The second Motorsport developpement entry meanwhile (#14) swaps Audi’s four rings for a VW badge.
Interestingly, of the teams entering Volkswagen Golf GTI TCRs in this year’s TCR SPA 500, all three represent different nationalities, Denmark (Holmgaard Motorsport), Sweden (Lestrup Racing Team), and Switzerland (Autorama Motorsport by Wolf-Power Racing).
CUPRA TCR / SEAT Leon TCR
CUPRA-heavy entry for Bas Koeten Racing
WTCC legend Tom Coronel joins Red Camel-Jordans.nl line-up
TCR Asia mainstay Viper Niza Racing joins TCR SPA 500 grid
NKPP Racing has a strong driver line up with (#175, Gijs Bessem / Harry Hilders / Christiaan Frankenhout / Jaap van Lagen) at Spa-Francorchamps, which will run a CUPRA TCR (#155) alongside its tenured Audi RS3 TCR (#125, Alex Au / Eric Lo / Eric Kwong / Kevin Tse).
Red Camel-Jordans.nl (#101), a former TCR-class champion in the 24H TCE SERIES, sees team owner Ivo Breukers partner with son – and two-time Rolex 24 at Daytona class winner – Rik, as well as six-time World Touring Car Championship race winner, Tom Coronel. Fittingly, the Dutch team’s previous TCR-class win came earlier this year at the 2019 Hankook 12H SPA.
Malaysia-based Viper Niza Racing (#65), a three-year veteran and former race winner on the TCR Asia stages, enters a CUPRA TCR for compatriots Douglas Khoo and Dominic Ang. Wimmer Werk Motorsport (#33, Peter Gross / Christian Voithofer / Günter Benninger / Günther Wiesmeier / Hans Peter Eder) meanwhile brings a single CUPRA entry to Spa-Francorchamps. The Austrian team claimed 3rd overall in the TCR-class 24H TCE SERIES Europe championship in 2017, and also upped its TCR Italy quota from two cars to four for 2019, during which it secured its first series victory.
Former TCR International Series entrant, and current Supercar Challenge contender, Ferry Monster Autosport #4 brings a single car entry.
Competing under the SEAT Sport umbrella meanwhile with its well-established Leon TCR is United Arab Emirates-based team, Atech Racing (#111), a repeat TCR competitor at the Hankook 24H DUBAI and a former UAE Clio Cup champion.
Peugeot 308 TCR / Racing Cup TCR
Former WTCC contender returns to tin top action
Burton with former campaigner in WTCC and TCR International
Burton Racing (#46) meanwhile enters the TCR SPA 500 with both a brand new Peugeot 308 TCR and Pierre-Yves Corthals, a former campaigner in both the World Touring Car Championship and the third season of the TCR International Series. Last up is DG Sport Compétition (#7), which will also run a 308 TCR. A two-year veteran of, and two-time race winner in, the TCR International Series, the Belgian team also made its race debut in TCR Europe this season, taking its first podium at Hockenheim.
Opel Astra TCR
Former 24H SERIES champions lead driver line-up
Astra TCR technical partner supplies sole Opel entry, so far
Sporting the only confirmed Astra TCR in the field, former 24H GT SERIES Europe and Continents Drivers’ Champions Charles Putman and Charles Espenlaub team together with Korean Canadian racer Steven Cho and Belgian Ward Sluys in the Vmax-Engineering Opel (#85). The team is a regular in both the VLN and the Astra Cup, and this year took on technical and logistical support for customer teams running the Astra TCR.
*Check out the complete entry list HERE on tcrspa500.com