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Audi customer team competes in the 2023 Kumho TCR World Tour with the Audi RS 3 LMS
- Audi Sport Team Comtoyou with two Audi RS 3 LMS cars in new global racing series
- Audi Sport driver Frédéric Vervisch and Rob Huff with a wealth of experience
- Calendar with nine events on four continents
With 29 overall titles and 72 additional class titles since 2017, the Audi RS 3 LMS is one of the most successful models in the Audi Sport customer racing program. The touring car won the worldwide “TCR Model of the Year” award three times alone. In the past five years, the entry-level touring car has been a permanent fixture in the top field with 17 individual victories in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup. Now, a new global series for TCR race cars will follow in 2023 with the Kumho TCR World Tour. Audi Sport Team Comtoyou team will contest this competition with two Audi RS 3 LMS cars for a top-class driver line-up.
“We are delighted that Jean-Michel Baert and his team are once again doing pioneering work and will be involved in the new Kumho TCR World Tour from day one, just as he did in the FIA WTCR back then,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “For this purpose, we are making our experienced touring and sports car driver Frédéric Vervisch available to him, who knows the team very well. With Rob Huff, Comtoyou Racing has signed a second absolutely accomplished and strong touring car expert. We keep our fingers crossed for the whole team.” In the Kumho TCR World Tour, competitors will race for the Kumho TCR World Cup in the drivers’ and team standings. Two qualifying sessions and two sprint races – three sprints at the events in Australia – are on the schedule for each of the nine race weekends.
The venues are spread over four continents. The European circuits from April to June in Portimão (Portugal), Spa (Belgium), Vallelunga (Italy) and the Hungaroring (Hungary) will be followed by two rounds in South America in August. El Pinar (Uruguay) and San Luis (Argentina) are new territory for many international teams. With Sydney and Bathurst, two dates in Australia are on the calendar in November. The city race in Macau, Asia, concludes the season in November. The TCR World Tour is always embedded into local events, their race formats and the starting grids – from TCR Europe to TCR Italy, TCR South America, TCR Australia and TCR Asia Challenge. Already in qualifying, the six best participants receive points, in the race the first 15 cars at the finish score points.
Audi Sport driver Frédéric Vervisch is 36 years old, hails from Belgium and has already won the Nürburgring 24 Hours twice as well as other major endurance races for Audi Sport in the GT3 discipline. Second place overall with Comtoyou Team Audi Sport was his best touring car championship result in the FIA WTCR in 2021. The 43-year-old Briton Rob Huff was FIA WTCC World Touring Car Cup champion in 2012, TCR Scandinavia champion in 2020 and won the WTCR Trophy last year.
The Audi RS 3 LMS is the brand’s up to 250 kW (340 hp) entry-level model for customer racing. Audi Sport customer racing has been marketing the second generation of the touring car worldwide since 2021 and has already handed over more than 80 units to customers.
Jean-Michel Baert founded the Comtoyou Racing team at the end of 2015 and won the TCR Europe drivers’ championship twice with his drivers in the Audi RS 3 LMS, plus other class titles. Team manager is François Verbist, project manager for the TCR World Tour is Robin Van Hemelrijck. This year Comtoyou Racing is contesting its biggest program to date with 43 races over 30 weekends. This includes the TCR World Tour with two Audi RS 3 LMS cars, the TCR Europe with four of these cars and the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS with three Audi R8 LMS cars.