Macau (MNA) – Kevin Tse didn’t initially plan to take part in the Macau Guia Race, but the Zhuhai Macau Touring Car Cup qualifiers didn’t go according to the plan. Due to his vast racing experience from single-seaters to GT racing, Tse was picked up as one of the Macau wildcards for the event.
“It is getting harder for the Macau drivers to participate [in the Macau Grand Prix] now as Roadsport [Over 1950cc class] has been combined with 1.600cc Turbo class cars in the Macau Touring Car Cup race,” he says. “I really wish to see another TCR race for the locals, Hong Kong and China drivers to compete. It would be ideal for the racers in the region.”
From this season, the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) is renamed the FIA World Touring Car Cup and abbreviated to WTCR. It runs to the TCR technical regulations under a two-year licensing agreement between the FIA, WTCR promoter Eurosport Events Limited (EEL) and WSC, owner of the TCR concept and trademark. No fewer than 19 TCR-based championships or series exist around the world while several manufacturers have, or are in the process, of homologating TCR cars including Alfa Romeo, Audi, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, KIA, LADA, Opel, Peugeot, Renault, SEAT, Subaru and Volkswagen. To date, more than 700 TCR racing cars have been built and sold to customer teams.
Having welcomed the WTCC back to its streets last November for the penultimate event of the 2017 campaign when Rob Huff bagged a record ninth win, Macau hosts the inaugural WTCR season finale.
“This will be a very tough weekend. I will be up against the best professional touring cars drivers in the world and realistically just finishing in the top 20 would be decent result,” reckons Tse. “They have been running their cars for the whole 2018 WTCR season and have tons of data on setup and tires. While team and myself will try to make the best guesses to get the car prepared and setup and hopefully would not be far off from our competitors.”
Tse is debuting in the Guia Race but he is no stranger to TCR spec cars, having competed in the TCR Asia Series before as well as he has been driving a Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR in the local races in the past two season. However Tse opted to drive a Audi RS3 LMS TCR of Hong Kong outfit Teamwork this weekend.
“In the high-speed corners the Audi RS3 TCR offers more stability than the VW Golf. With that in mind hopefully I can attack the fast corners such as Reservoir and Mandarin with more confidence”, concludes the 2014 Asian Le Mans Series CN prototype class Champion.
The Macau Guia Race will this year count as the grand finale of the inaugural WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season, and the star-studded entry includes title winners from international, regional and domestic ‘tin-top’ championships. The Macau drivers will have to qualify within the lowered 105 per cent limit to be able to take part in the three weekend races.