Victory and fourth place propel Comini to the title on legendary Macau street circuitVolkswagen Golf GTI TCR convinces with outstanding reliabilityGolf successful on the track in international customer sport
Last-minute triumph: Stefano Comini (CH) confirmed his title win in the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR at the season finale of the international TCR series in Macau. The Swiss driver from the Volkswagen customer team Leopard Racing claimed victory in the first race on the legendary street circuit, and then finished fourth in the second race. On the last race weekend, he was able to fend off his closest challenger James Nash (Seat/GB).
“I have to thank everyone at Leopard Racing and at Volkswagen Motorsport,” said Comini after the two turbulent races, which were characterised by a host of incidents and interruptions. “This was not an easy season. We had a lot of problems, especially at the start. The Golf GTI TCR developed into a real winning car as the season progressed, and played a major role in the title win thanks to its great reliability.” Comini’s team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay (F) recorded two second-place finishes to claim third in the overall drivers’ standings, underlining just how competitive the Golf GTI TCR is.
Three wins in 22 season races were enough for Comini to win the title
Ahead from the start: the Volkswagen Golf GTI claimed the title in the international TCR championship in its first full season. Comini needed just three wins and a regular points haul in the 22 races of the 2016 season to record another championship win, having already claimed the title with Seat in 2015. Team-mate Vernay endured an unhappy start to the season, returning empty-handed from three of the five opening races. The French driver turned up the heat after that, contributing three wins to the team victory and challenging for the title right up to the finale in Macau.
Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – a success story since 2015
It came, it saw, it conquered: in July 2015, Volkswagen presented a series-oriented 330 HP concept car, based on the seventh-generation Golf. Constructed according to the TCR regulations, it was intended for use in a customer sport programme from the 2016 season. To speed up development, the Golf was tested on the track under competitive conditions at the final race weekends of the TCR International Series. The renowned Liqui Moly Team Engstler was responsible for the cars in competition. The test proved to be a success: the first race in Austria brought the first win for the touring car from Wolfsburg - starting the success story for the Golf GTI TCR.
International success - racing Golf celebrates wins around the world
2016 marked the start of the next chapter: Andy Yan (HK, Liqui Moly Team Engstler) claimed the first title win with the Golf GTI TCR in the TCR Asia – confirmed before the season finale in in Macau. Romain de Leval (B, Delahaye Racing) was also successful in the TCR Benelux, winning the Junior title. Francisco Abreu/Manuel Gião (P/P, Team Novadriver) are still in with a chance of the title as they approach the finale of the Portuguese TCR championship in Estoril (26th–27th November).
TCR International Series, 2016 Season
02/04/2016 Bahrain, Race 1 – Winner: Pepe Oriola (Seat)03/04/2016 Bahrain, Race 2 – Winner: Pepe Oriola (Seat)24/04/2016 Portugal, Race 1 – Winner: Gianni Morbidelli (Honda)24/04/2016 Portugal, Race 2 – Winner: James Nash (Seat)06/05/2016 Belgium, Race 1 – Winner: Aku Pellinen (Honda)07/05/2016 Belgium, Race 2 – Winner: Jean-Karl Vernay (Volkswagen)22/05/2016 Italy, Race 1 – Winner: Stefano Comini (Volkswagen)22/05/2016 Italy, Race 2 – Winner: Mikhail Grachev (Honda)05/06/2016 Austria, Race 1 – Winner: Mikhail Grachev (Honda)05/06/2016 Austria, Race 2 – Winner: Jean-Karl Vernay (Volkswagen)19/06/2016 Germany, Race 1 – Winner: Mat'o Homola (Seat)19/06/2016 Germany, Race 2 – Winner: Pepe Oriola (Seat)03/07/2016 Russia, Race 1 – Winner: Stefano Comini (Volkswagen)03/07/2016 Russia, Race 2 – Winner: Mikhail Grachev (Honda)28/08/2016 Thailand, Race 1 – Winner: Pepe Oriola (Seat)28/08/2016 Thailand, Race 2 – Winner: James Nash (Seat)17/09/2016 Singapore, Race 1 – Winner: Jean-Karl Vernay (Volkswagen)18/09/2016 Singapore, Race 2 – Winner: Mikhail Grachev (Honda)30/09/2016 Malaysia, Race 1 – Winner: Roberto Colciago (Honda)01/10/2016 Malaysia, Race 2 – Winner: Kevin Gleason (Honda)20/11/2016 Macau, Race 1 – Winner: Stefano Comini (Volkswagen)20/11/2016 Macau, Race 2 – Winner: Tiago Monteiro (Honda)