The TCR Australia Series will offer incentives for semi-professional drivers in the 2020 competition.
Drivers classed as semi-professional or amateur will fight for the new Panta Cup, offering a major international drive reward and extra prizes at each of the seven series events.
The Panta Cup, supported by TCR Australia’s control fuel supplier Panta Fuels, will be presented to the eligible driver at each round who scores the most series points across that round.
While Panta Cup contenders will still be eligible for the outright series, the winning Panta Cup driver from the round will be formally presented a trophy on the podium at each event.
There will also be a series winner of the Panta Cup presented at the end of the year to the eligible driver who scores the most series points across all seven TCR Australia Series rounds. A driver must participate in all seven rounds to be eligible.
The overall Panta Cup winner will receive a paid entry fee into an International TCR Endurance race of significance (such as TCR Spa 500) along with an introduction to international TCR teams.
Eligibility will be at the discretion of TCR Australia category management.
Panta Cup entries will be capped at only six spots for the series, with one of those places already secured by Michael King who has secured a brand-new Hyundai i30 N.
King tested the Hyundai at Wakefield Park recently. His entry will be run by DashSport, based in Galston, NSW and run under the AH Racing banner.
The opening TCR Australia event will be the inaugural Asia Pacific Cup, held at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix on March 12-15.
The first of the seven-round TCR Australia Series will kick into life at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 27-19. All seven series events will be broadcast live and free on the channels of Network Seven.
Category Manager, TCR Australia
“We have fielded a lot of interest from a great variety of teams and drivers for the 2020 TCR Australia Series, and we feel that there is enough interest from semi-professional drivers to introduce the Panta Cup,” said Liam Curkpatrick.
“The great thing about the Panta Cup is that drivers who are deemed to be of a semi-professional or amateur experience will still compete under the same rules as the outright contenders, however, they will have their own points race to consider. It adds another talking point for the fans and followers, as well as an extra incentive for those in that class.
“By limiting the entrants to six, we are aiming to have all of those places filled quite quickly. It should be a competitive series in its own right.
“The mix of driver experience is going to be really diverse this year. From young guys coming out of karting or Formula Ford, to the semi-professionals and then some highly-credentialed talent. It all points towards an exciting year.”