The new TCR Australia Series will have an international feel for its debut round later this month with Dutch driver Rik Breukers confirmed to compete in the historic event.
Securing a position with Melbourne Performance Centre (MPC), the 20-year-old will be behind the wheel of the Victorian team’s Audi RS 3 TCR car for a one-off drive in Sydney.
Breukers’ incredible deal came through the hard work of MARC Cars Australia owner Ryan McLeod, a keen advocate of TCR racing.
With the Dutchman never having raced in Australia before, he was thrilled to be able get the opportunity to take part in the race.
“I’m really looking forward to my first race in Australia,” Breukers said.
“It will be my first visit to the country and I’m very grateful and happy with the deal to compete with Melbourne Performance Centre in the Audi RS 3 TCR car.
“I want to thank Ryan McLeod and everyone involved who put it together. We will do our best to get a good result and to represent Audi in the best way possible.”
Currently driving for leading Audi GT squad W Racing Team (WRT) in the Blancpain Endurance GT Championship, Breukers has already enjoyed lots of success in his short career, with a win in the Dubai 24 Hours and class victories in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona the highlights.
The Ven-Zelderheide born driver has also competed in numerous TCR events across the world, giving him an advantage over the rest of the competition.
Despite Breukers unable to attend any testing ahead of the season opener due to a conflicting schedule, MPC Managing Director, Troy Russell believed it will not affect a driver of Breukers’ calibre.
“He has driven a lot of cars in some big races all around the world so it is a privilege to have Rik for the first round of TCR Australia,” Russell said.
“At this stage, the deal we have is just for the opening round, but we’ll see what happens after that.
“For us, it’s good to have an European driver in there, someone with international TCR experience. He will be a good benchmark for the entire field.
“Naturally, he won’t be at Winton for the pre-season test, however, with the level of international TCR experience, it will not be a problem. The only real thing Rik will need to do is the Sydney track layout.”
Broadcast live, free and in HD on SBS, the TCR Australia Series will kick off at Sydney Motorsport Park as part of the Shannons Nationals on 17-19 May