Spa rounds off a hectic start to the TCR Europe season

Spa rounds off a hectic start to the TCR Europe season

This weekend sees the third event in the 2023 TCR Europe championship in just four weeks, and for the second time the series will be part of the KUMHO TCR World Tour. Just as in Portimão at the end of April, the two races at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium will pit the competitors battling for the TCR Europe titles against the drivers and teams fighting to win the KUMHO TCR World Tour.


The season-opening event in Portugal saw race victories for Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai Elantra N) and Santiago Urrutia (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03), with John Filippi and Tom Coronel in a pair of Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS cars taking maximum TCR Europe points. Then, two weeks after the Portimão event, TCR Europe’s second race weekend saw the drivers and teams tackle the Pau Ville street circuit in southwestern France. Coronel again took a maximum-points score by winning the reversed-grid Race 2, but it was the Target Competition Hyundai Elantra N of Dušan Borković that won the opening race. With the Serbian driver then finishing second in Race 2, the weekend’s huge points haul elevated Borković to third in the Drivers’ standings behind Coronel and Filippi.


Heading to Spa-Francorchamps, the Comtoyou team will be strong favourites. The Belgian team will be on home soil for the event and they will be fielding no fewer than six Audi RS 3 LMS cars – two in the KUMHO TCR World Tour for Frédéric Vervisch and Rob Huff and four in TCR Europe, driven by Coronel, Filippi, the impressive Rookie Kobe Pauwels and the reigning Diamond Trophy winner Victor Davidovski. In addition, there are two Audi cars for the Volcano Motorsport pairing of Isaac Smith and Lewis Brown and another two for the RC2 Racing Team brothers Rubén and Felipe Fernández, who return after skipping the Pau weekend.


While Audi might be the most well-represented brand on the grid with a total of ten cars, there will also be five Hyundai Elantra N and five Lynk & Co 03 cars. Three of the five Hyundai cars are entered in TCR Europe, with Borković’s Target Competition car being joined by the Aggressive Team Italia pairing of Mikael Karlsson and Levente Losonczy, the latter making his first appearance in this year’s championship. The BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse team has two cars for Michelisz and Mikel Azcona, who has won TCR Europe races at Spa on no fewer than three occasions, including both races in 2020.


Four of the five Lynk & Co 03 cars are entered for the KUMHO TCR World Tour, in the hands of Urrutia, Yann Ehrlacher, Thed Björk and Ma Qing Hua, while the MA:GP car of Swedish teenager Viktor Andersson will arrive in Belgium after a weekend of mixed fortunes in France; a broken driveshaft resulted in a DNF in Race 1 while he recorded a fifth place finish in Race 2.


Making his debut in the KUMHO TCR World Tour is Denmark’s Philip Lindberg, who joins Néstor Girolami in a second ALM Motorsport Honda Civic Type R FL5. Finally, making his second appearance of the season is Ben Bargwanna, who drives a Team Clairet Sport – Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot 308. Bargwanna finished fourth in the TCR Europe standings and was the highest-placed Rookie in Race 2 in Portimão before returning to compete in TCR Australia for three races at Philip Island in which he recorded a pair of podium finishes.


Thanks to his clever tactics in Pau a fortnight ago, Tom Coronel will lose Compensation Weight for the Spa event and, along with his Comtoyou teammates, the Dutch driver will be hard to beat in the TCR Europe field this weekend. In the KUMHO TCR World Tour, Azcona clearly enjoys racing at Spa-Francorchamps, but the Lynk & Co cars have already demonstrated their pace and the Audi Sport Comtoyou pairing of Vervisch and Huff will also be strong.


Spa, however, has a tendency to be anything but predictable. The combination of the season’s longest circuit, the area’s changeable weather and two very competitive championships promises to deliver two exciting Touring Car races this weekend.


Event timetable

Friday May 26th

09.40 - Free Practice 1

14.35 - Free Practice 2


Saturday May 27th

10.40 - Qualifying

15.30 - Race 1


Sunday May 28th

11.40 - Race 2


Qualifying and both races will be streamed live on and on the TCR TV app.


KUMHO TCR World Tour – calendar

29/30 April – Autodromo do Algarve, Portimão, Portugal

27/28 May – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

10/11 June – Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi, Italy

17/18 June – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary

19/20 August – Autódromo de El Pinar, Uruguay

26/27 August – Autódromo San Luis, Argentina

4/5 November – Sydney Motorsport Park, Australia

11/12 November – Mount Panorama, Bathurst, Australia

18/19 November – Circuito da Guia, Macau, China



2023 TCR Europe Series – calendar

29/30 April – Autodromo do Algarve, Portimão, Portugal

13/14 May – Circuit de Ville, Pau, France

27/28 May – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

17/18 June – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary

22/23 July – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France

23/24 September – Autodromo Nazionale, Monza, Italy

21/22 October – Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, Spain


TCR Euro Series
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