Opel took full advantage of the international TCR (Touring Car Racing) presentation at the circuit Jules Tacheny in Mettet, Belgium, showing their new customer racing touring car for the first time. The Opel Astra TCR combines ultra-modern racing technology with an effective safety concept while simultaneously remaining close to production. It enables the Opel teams to compete in short and long distance races – such as the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring – with a technically unchanged vehicle.
The five-door Astra is powered by a highly efficient two-liter turbocharged engine that will deliver 330 horsepower and maximum torque of 420 Newton-meters, thus ensuring that vehicle with a curb weight of 1,200 kilograms has enough propulsion. This power is transferred to the front wheels via a sequential, six-speed racing transmission with the paddle shift located on the steering wheel. Adhesion is established via a twin-disc sinter metal clutch. An automated double declutching system creates stability when shifting down. The racing car is decelerated by 378-millimeter brake discs and six-piston brake calipers at the front along with 265-mm brake discs and two-piston brake calipers at the back. The driver can modulate the braking balance from the cockpit.
The chassis is fully adjustable and comes with ultra-modern damper technology. The efficient aerodynamics, which include an adjustable front splitter and rear spoiler that for cost reasons are standard components and identical on all TCR vehicles, are also relevant for the vehicle set-up. Electronic assistance systems such as anti-lock brakes and electronic stability program are not permitted.
In order to ensure that the Opel customer teams can use their Astra TCR for a number of years without making any technical adjustments, the car already comes with features that the International Automobile Association (FIA) will only declare mandatory from the 2017 season such as the 100-liter fuel safety tank.
Opel’s commitment in the Touring Car Racing Series marks the continuation of a long and successful tradition in touring car racing. Customer racing has always been a key pillar in Opel’s motor sports commitment in many countries across Europe alongside factory-backed participation in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) or national championships such as the German Supertouring Championship (STW). The concept of the TCR matches this philosophy perfectly – with powerful, optically impressive close-to-production touring cars available at affordable prices, the TCR meets the current requirements of the interested customer teams.
The TCR also offers Opel the perfect platform to present its new volume model in a racing environment in the involved markets. The various national championships, obviously including the new German TCR series (ADAC TCR Germany), which will be staged under the overall control of Opel’s longtime partner ADAC, and the European championship are an ideal playing field for Opel and its customer teams. The three-tier concept – national and continental championships along with the global TCR International Series – ensures that customer teams can compete worldwide with the same car.
The Astra TCR is being developed in close cooperation with Opel’s longstanding partner Kissling Motorsport. Initial performance checks are set to take place before the end of October. A limited amount of Opel Astra TCRs will be delivered to selected customer teams from February next year. The race-ready vehicle will cost a competitive EUR95,000.