Garage1 to bring Spanish flavour to TCR Series

A 10th car brand could make its carsales TCR Australia Series debut this year with Melbourne based racing team Garage1 securing a Cupra car.

Owned by Volkswagen Audi Group, the Spanish manufacturer is a branch of Spanish car brand SEAT, whose cars were the original blueprint for all TCR cars when the category formed in 2014.

The specific car that Garage1 purchased was recently raced in Germany before obtaining a series of updates to comply with 2019 standards and shipped to Australia.

Garage1 will also have the support of Melbourne Performance Centre (MPC) with access to local components and information as MPC are the official Australian agent of Volkswagen Audi Group.

While the car is in Australia, Garage1 admit there is still some work to do before they can enter it into the season finale at The Bend Motorsport Park in November as part of the Shannons Nationals.

After what has been a successful debut season in the new series, Garage 1 co-owner Marty Brant was excited to get in on the action with the new brand.

“We decided to go to TCR a few months ago. It’s good racing and we feel it’s the category to be in,” Brant said.

“We chose the Cupra because it’s different and we see a good future in it. It’s very competitive overseas, and the benefit of the Cupra is that we can use Melbourne Performance Centre as our base for parts and help if we need it.

“We’d like to expand to at least two cars in the future. We see that as the best model for us. More would be even better.

“We’d like to be at The Bend for the final round, It’s not a priority, but we are working on a couple of deals to make that happen. We’ll just have to see what happens.

“This class really takes me back to the Group A days where you can take any of these cars and race anywhere in the world.”

If the deals go through and the car is ready in time, the Cupra Car will join Peugeot as the latest brand to join the series ahead of the final round.

With Garage1 already planning on adding another Cupra car to its ranks as the team looks to expand in the future, co-owner John Evans was hopeful of getting the first car on the track in November.

“As far as we can see, TCR is the future for Australian motor sport,” Evans said.

“It is an interesting and exciting class, full of variety. They are proper little race cars. There’s enough there for an engineer or mechanic to spark the interest, and they are very race and reward for the driver too. It’s a good challenge.

“The Cupra is a really nice car, and the one that we have has been well looked after. We feel that it is going to be a very competitive package and we are looking forward to getting it on track soon.”

The final Shannons Nationals and carsales TCR Australia Series rounds for 2019 take place at The Bend Motorsport Park on 15-17 November.