David Sonenscher, the recently-announced Chief Operating Officer of TCR UK, described last weekend’s Autosport International Show as ‘extremely positive’. The show, at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, saw a brand new Hyundai i30 N TCR car on display on the BRSCC stand in Hall 2, with the Yokohama stand in Hall 1 hosting the Pyro Motorsport Honda Civic that Ollie Taylor drove to second place in the 2018 Drivers’ championship.
David, together with Championship Manager Jen Mouratsing and Media Coordinator Mark James, attended the show on the two Trade Days on Thursday and Friday. The trio had a series of meetings with partners and potential 2019 entrants, with David (pictured with Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo) declaring himself pleased with the two days.
Speaking in an interview with Alan Hyde on the Autosport Stage on Friday morning, Sonenscher said: ““Last year was the first year for TCR UK and we learned a lot of lessons, but the most important thing was to establish the championship, which we did. Of course we would have liked more cars at some rounds, but we did the groundwork to put TCR on the map in the UK and in 2019 the idea is to grow the championship.
“What we now want to do is to provide a better show and we are putting all of our effort into that. We have to try and grow this year and we know that things won’t change overnight. It will be slow growth, but we are committed to the series and I think people will see that during the year ahead. TCR UK isn’t a flash in the pan. We are here to grow the series and do it properly.”
Speaking about the decision to add a round at Spa-Francorchamps to the UK calendar, he added: “Spa is an iconic circuit and a good addition to the calendar. With TCR being the global platform that it is, we wanted to give people the chance to race alongside their European counterparts as part of a huge grid on a brilliant circuit.
“For a start, it will provide drivers with the opportunity to see how they can progress from TCR UK up to TCR Europe, and it is also a way to drive home that anyone who is competing in TCR UK is part of a wider global family, which we feel is very important.”
In other news from the show, Jessica Bäckman won the ‘Overseas Racer of the Year’ prize in the Downforce Radio Awards. After competing in TCR UK and TCR Scandinavia in 2018, Jessica and her brother Andreas will move up to TCR Europe for 2019.