The first entries for the new Touring Car Cup, which forms part of the inaugural FIA Motorsport Games, have been received, with 11 different countries among the initial applications.
Eight European nations are represented, with Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom all confirming their participation in the event. They join China, Hong Kong and New Zealand as the first set of countries to commit their respective national colours to the “tin-top” competition.
TCR Europe front-runner Luca Engstler headlines the entry. Despite being only 19, the German has already established himself as a formidable competitor. The 2018 season saw Engstler clinch both the TCR Asia Series and TCR Middle East titles, while also finishing second overall in a the highly competitive ADAC TCR Germany championship.
Currently in his third season of touring car competition, Engstler lies fifth in the TCR Europe standings with a round remaining. A winner at Red Bull Ring with his Hyundai i30N TCR, the German will use the same machine at the FIA Motorsport Games.
Fellow TCR Europe regular, Gilles Magnus will represent Belgium, driving an Audi RS3 LMS run by World Touring Car Cup outfit Comtoyou Racing. The very same car took the 20-year-old taking to a victory on home turf at Spa-Francorchamps earlier this year. Prior to his touring car switch, Magnus competed successfully in both single-seater and GT racing.
The all-new MG6 TCR* will have its debut at a major international event at the FIA Motorsport Games. So far two of these cars have been entered. One will be driven by British Touring Car Championship front-runner Rory Butcher with the other one entered by the 2015 Chinese Touring Car Championship title-winner Zhen Dong Zhang.
Butcher has already won three races this season and is fifth in the standings of the UK’s premier racing series, while the 27-year-old has Chinese racer recently made appearances in categories such as TCR Asia Series and has previously contested the TCR International Series.
Klim Gavrilov, another 19-year-old, will defend the colours of Russia. Currently a title contender in his domestic championship, the youngster’s CV also includes outings in TCR Europe and the Italian series, where he has been a race-winner this season. Gavrilov will compete for gold with his familiar Audi RS3 LMS.
The Czech Republic’s Dušan Kouřil Jr and Lithuanian racer Julius Adomavičius will add further eastern European representation at the FIA Motorsport Games. 17-year-old Kouřil Jr will drive a Hyundai, while Adomavičius will take the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
Hungary and New Zealand have also submitted their entries for the Touring Car Cup. As the driver selection process is yet to be finalised by their respective National Sporting Authorities, final confirmation of each nation’s line-up will follow at later stage.
Spain is the final European country among the initial set of entries, with Gonzalo De Andres set to drive a Peugeot 308 TCR. De Andres’ racing resume includes outings in various tin-top competitions, ranging from one-make cups to GTs and touring cars.
The Asian presence will be further bolstered by Hong Kong’s Jim Ka To, who will compete with a Honda Civic FK7 TCR. Ka To is familiar with the car, having driven it at this year’s Dubai 24 Hour race.
Several countries are in the process of formalising their entries for the inaugural Touring Car Cup, with further announcements expected in the coming days. It will be one of six disciplines featured at the FIA Motorsport Games, joining the GT Cup, Formula 4 Cup, Drifting Cup, Karting Slalom Cup and Digital Cup at the 1-3 November event. Sporting Regulations for the FIA Motorsport Games are available at fia.com.