Lotti reflects on first World Tour venture down under

After the Kumho TCR World Tour’s recent visit to Australia earlier this month, WSC Group President, Marcello Lotti expressed his contentment with the events that unfolded.

The two international Shannons SpeedSeries events at Sydney Motorsport Park and Bathurst wrote a new chapter into the history of Australian motorsport, providing onlookers with plenty of unforgettable moments along the way.

Joining the grid with the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, the inclusion of 10 international drivers upped the stakes with both categories playing out their own respective intriguing title races.

In doing so, exposed the strengths of the local TCR series to a huge international audience, while the local contingent had the opportunity to learn from some of the most successful teams in the history of the category.

Following Race Sydney and the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International, Lotti was pleased to see the atmosphere provided by the fans and competitors alike, revealing there is plenty of interest for a return in 2024.

“We are happy for what is going on, there is a lot of interest for 2024 with new plans and new teams I believe that everyone has been happy with the format,” Lotti said.

“We are happy because we see a good atmosphere. I spoke with our drivers and all of them say to me that all people are very welcoming.

“Motorsport Australia has a very good sporting organisation, and the director said to me that TV (Stan Sport broadcast) is super, they make something like a chef with only two or three ingredients.

“TCR is the same car everywhere, basically the same sporting regulations, so it’s nice to have the opportunity for me to create this event with a more professional series.

“To create an event where there is this connectivity between all of them, an atmosphere of opportunity to speak together, to share experiences, have the opportunity to speak with the chief of manufacturers, this was one of the key points to create more links between all the community members.”

While many expected the Australian field to fall behind, there were a number of standout performances across the two rounds, including Will Brown, who stormed his way to two race wins in Sydney.

Meanwhile, Ben Bargwanna and Tony D’Alberto both stole the show with respective pole positions, showing they belong up there with the world’s best drivers, while Aaron Cameron also enjoyed a podium at Bathurst.

As for the competitiveness of the local competitors, Lotti was happy to see the likes of Brown not only running up the front of the field but racing hard with the World Tour competitors.

“I was not surprised because I was here last year, I followed TCR Australia very closely during the season and I know there’s some very strong drivers, so it was not so big of a surprise,” Lotti explained.

“In Sydney for example, this is what we want. Frankly, because this is what we agree the concept is to give opportunities like this to drivers like Brown. I have to say we are very happy.”

The Kumho TCR World Tour finishes its inaugural season this weekend at the Macau Grand Prix before hosting the TCR World Finals at Algarve in Portimão on 1-3 March.

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