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C360R Confirms Two-Car Audi TCR Entry for 2018

C360R confirms two-car Audi RS 3 LMS program for CTSC…

Photo: C360R

C360R has confirmed plans to enter the new TCR class in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge next year, expanding its commitment to the series with a total of four entries across two classes.

Team owner Karl Thomson has revealed to Sportscar365 that it will field a pair of Audi RS 3 LMS cars in the new-for-2018 class, alongside its existing McLaren 570S GT4 entries, which are set to return for next year.

The Toronto-based team is the first to officially commit to the TCR class in IMSA, which was confirmed in June as an additional category alongside the existing GT4-based GS class and ST categories.

“We’re really excited about having TCR as part of the Continental Tire Challenge next season,” Thomson told Sportscar365.

“Obviously we’re having really good success with that car elsewhere this year and it’s given us a good opportunity to evaluate the platform.

“The car is a really nice piece; it comes great from the factory. The support has been great from Audi.

“I think it’s a natural evolution for both us as a team and also for the series.

“We’re really enjoying the GT4 experience with the McLarens and another factory car makes a lot of sense, and continuing with Audi make some sense for us as well.”

Having given the car its North American debut in Pirelli World Challenge TC competition this year, the team has quickly achieved success with Audi’s TCR contender, with a pair of wins with Paul Holton, in what’s largely been a development year in coming to grips with the emerging global touring car platform.

Thomson, who said they already have driver lineups finalized for one McLaren GT4 and Audi TCR each, said there’s been a high level of interest for the cars in the Continental Tire Challenge and is hopeful of a competitive grid next year comprised of multiple manufacturers.

The team, meanwhile, will put its two self-built Audi S3 cars up for sale, with its focus turning exclusively to the two global platforms for 2018 and beyond.

“[The Audi TCRs are] great turn-key race cars,” Thomson said. “And that makes our job so much easier because we’re not building them; we’re going testing and learning about them. That’s the big difference that we had with the McLaren.”

With a number of other projects in the pipeline, Thomson believes a grid of between 12-16 TCR cars could be achievable next year.

“If you take a look at some of the TCR International races, the competition is really solid,” he said. “The question is who is going to bring some of those cars over here?

“We’ve heard some rumors of the Alfa coming. Honda has announced HPD will support the [Civic Tye R]. I’ve heard some rumors of a Subaru and certainly Mazda and Ford are rumored. There’s also the Mini and VW too.

“I think it’s just a question of who is going to step up and run those different cars. As much as I like the Audi, I’d like to see a big mix and competing.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Nick1

    August 4, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Kind of odd that c360R won’t run the GT4 Audi next year.

  2. Pierre

    August 4, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Driven these cars. They are great. They don’t feel like FWD at all.

  3. Guest

    August 4, 2017 at 10:35 am

    TCR are overpriced, FWD only, nothing to do with their road cars.

    • CookieMonsterFL

      August 4, 2017 at 11:16 am

      LOL. Love these comments. TCR is expensive if you are a middle class American wanting to afford an expensive hobby. In the racing world, these are absolutely affordable and cost-effective especially for the class/series they compete in.

      FWD = most sedans, hatchbacks, SUV (if not 4×4), compacts, etc. “nothing to do with their road cars” ha! Have you seen how these things are built?

      • welp

        August 4, 2017 at 1:42 pm

        Yeah if you don’t want to see Mx5’s and the non gt4 Porsche Cayman’s on the track.

        • Bakkster

          August 4, 2017 at 3:44 pm

          The problem is that new ST cars haven’t been getting built, so in a few years you’d lose them whether TCR was in the series or not.

          IMSA’s just getting ahead of the curve instead of waiting for ST to die like happened with GS.

      • Matt

        August 4, 2017 at 3:08 pm

        I want to see cars compete with the same engine/drivetrain package they use on the road, really not that complicated. TCR allows way too much aero for these underpowered cars.

      • Guest

        August 5, 2017 at 4:25 am

        The road cars don’t have carbon fiber bodies and tons of aero. Great way to increase the price.

  4. Gaucherie

    August 4, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Really not sure about the TCR concept – the various European TCR class races have been pretty dismal. Better than the WTCC procession but still not exactly great. Beyond the quality of racing, touring cars are meant for short, sharp 20 minute blasts – i.e the very good British Touring Cars, they won’t make much sense over 2 hours.

    • N8

      August 4, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      I haven’t seen a TCR race, but I’m hoping 2 hour+ distance can make just about anything interesting. PWC is an absolute snooze-fest while GTD is typically edge of your seat stuff when it matters.

  5. Slicks in the wet

    August 4, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Hope they can score better results. All I can remember the last few years with Audi are slow laps, broken cars, and wrecking.

    • Karlt

      August 4, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      I’m pretty sure the Audi was on the podium at COTA this year 😉

    • PaulH

      August 4, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      LOL. I’m pretty sure I got my first IMSA win in one of the S3s…

      • NickM

        August 4, 2017 at 4:57 pm

        ^^Who are these guys? :p

      • Thomas

        August 5, 2017 at 5:41 am

        Haha snap. Well played sir

    • Slicks in the wet

      August 5, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Hey..I’m just a jerk sitting on my couch, commenting on the internet…it’s to be expected that Im a turd.

      But I still say there’s been a lot of disappointing weekends. A blind squirrel gonna find a nut once in awhile too.

      It just really seemed the Audi as an ST car isn’t optimized. TCR car having all sorts of PWC success.

      I’m just saying I hope it carries over to IMSA.

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