The UK will be strongly represented in the new FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) in 2018, with the announcement this week that Gordon Shedden will be in a WRT Audi RS3 LMS, partnering 2017 TCR International Series Champion Jean-Karl Vernay. The news means there’ll be two British drivers in the series, with the 2012 World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff already confirmed as driving a Volkswagen Golf GTI for Sébastien Loeb Racing.
Both men already have experience of driving in the TCR International Series, with Huff having won on his TCR debut in Macau in 2015 in a Honda Civic and again in Zhejiang in 2017 when he drove a VW Golf to victory in Race 2. Unsurprisingly, Huff is a fan of the TCR concept and his experience suggests he must be one of the favourites to take race victories and potentially the 2018 WTCR title.
Huff is also well aware of how the ‘pyramid’ of TCR racing offers teams and drivers the chance to move between championships as they develop. “For national racing, it creates a great opportunity to get to grips with the cars and the move up the racing ladder into TCR Europe or WTCR, learning how to race a TCR car and then be able to take the same car you’ve become familiar with straight into that championship if you want, just like Super 2000 was back in the mid-00s. That’s why I think the TCR UK Touring Car Championship will be a great starting point for racing drivers in the UK who want to follow that path” he explains.
“TCR is a fantastic formula for Touring Car racing,” adds Huff. “When I first raced one at Macau two years ago, it was a brilliant experience. It’s not the kind of track you’d want to try and learn a new car on, but that’s the beauty of TCR, they’re easy to pick up and go for any professional racing driver.
“I had a lot of success with them last year too; our team were quick straight away in the Volkswagen at another 'racer’s track', Spa-Francorchamps. The racing in TCR is always incredible. Absolute door-to- door, nail-biting stuff, which is what you love as a driver, and this will definitely translate from last year’s TCR International Series to the new WTCR this year.”
The TCR UK season begins at Silverstone with two races on Easter Sunday, with Huff and Shedden starting their WTCR campaigns in Marrakesh a week later on April 8 th .