After a lengthy summer break, the TCR International Series has reached Singapore for what is shaping up to be one of the most highly contested rounds of the season. Not only will the International Series be running alongside the TCR Asia program for the first time but they will once again be the headline support event for the Formula One, giving the series its first ever night race. Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil are currently leading the drivers’ championship with, Pepe Oriola, while his two teammates follow closely behind. Fellow Spaniard, Jordi Gene, has recently made himself a top championship contender, currently sitting strong in P3. With so few points to separate them, the trio will also be working hard to claim the top spot in the teams’ championship with only three races remaining.
Pepe Oriola will be focused on edging out the gap between him and rival, Stefano Comini, who is currently only two points behind. The young driver will have to deal with 30 kg of success ballast though, as he scored the most points of any driver at the previous race. Oriola knows that this will be an extra challenge this weekend but is heavily motivated to best his adversaries and keep his sights set on the drivers’ championship title.
Jordi Gene has been climbing up the leader board with his string of recent podium appearances but his success has netted him 10kg of success ballast for this round. Still lighter than his main rivals, who are separated by only 23 points, Gene will have the upper hand on the Singapore street circuit which suits his driving style. He hopes that he will be able to get ahead of his opponents to close the gap that sits between him and the top of the table.
Russian driver, Sergey Afanasyev, is looking forward to his first time on the circuit and without any ballast to deal with is in a great position to challenge for the podium. Showing great progression each round, the touring car convert is still hungry to take his first win of the season. Afanasyev will be concentrated on a strong qualifying session to place him at the front of the grid; from there he can take an early lead and use the tight confines of the street circuit to keep his competitors behind him.
Frank Yu, will also be joining the grid in Singapore, where he will be piloting the #99 Seat Leon which he drove in the first round of the TCR International Series at Sepang. Taking on his third street circuit race of the year, Frank is no stranger to the famous Marina Bay track, having raced here twice before. Using his knowledge and experience, Frank aims to take the top spot on the TCR Asia Series podium.
Practice will be held on Friday, 18th of September from 15:00-15:25 and then from 15:50–16:15 (Local Time GMT +8). Qualifying will be scheduled for 15:45-16:15 on Saturday, the 19th of September. Race one will be later that evening from 22:30 – 22:55, while race two will be held on Sunday from 16:35-17:00. Live streaming from the Marina Bay Circuit, Singapore, available on the series’ official website www.tcr-series.com.
The pursuit of the inaugural TCR international title would not be possible without the support of LUKOIL, INTERUSH, Gravity, Team Dynamics and Orangebus.
Pepe Oriola, Driver #74
"I hope to achieve a good result this weekend to continue leading the drivers’ championship. We will share this event with the Formula One and this is something that contributes greatly to the worldwide recognition of the TCR International Series program.”
"I want to enjoy this moment, but I cannot ignore that in the remaining races all the competitors will be going for it. I have to get the maximum points in each race and I have to avoid unnecessary risks on the track. Nothing has been decided in this championship yet. If I repeat my last performance, I could be even closer to my dream of taking the title.”
Sergey Afanasyev, Driver #77
“It is going to be an amazing event. A race in the middle of the city under the bright lights is just beautiful! My dear friend, Vitaly Petrov, who has raced here in F1 told me to be prepared for the toughest race of the season. High temperature and high humidity won't make my challenge easier. I am really looking forward to it as my first year of front wheel drive touring cars has given me a lot of new experience. Our target is to fight for the title in the teams’ and drivers’ championship and I'm sure we will achieve both. It will also be great to drive once again with Frank Yu who is joining us for this round!”
Jordi Gene, Driver #88
“I am really motivated for the race in Singapore, it will be a new circuit for everyone, but street circuits are good for my driving style and for this race I will be carrying less ballast than my rivals, so it will be a perfect race to shave some points and get closer to the lead. The team had some time to work with the SEAT Leon and I am convinced we will be even more competitive. Also racing with F1 gives me the opportunity to share circuit with my brother Marc, during the year we have little times to get together and this will be one of them.”
Frank Yu, Driver #99
“I am very excited to be back in Singapore, I have raced there a couple of times, it’s a mega event and the atmosphere is awesome. I am really excited to be back in the SEAT Leon, this will be my third time on a street circuit this year and I will try and do a good job for our sponsor Interush. I am really excited to be part of the TCR Asia championship and I am glad to be driving alongside our Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil drivers in the International Series, hopefully we can take both podiums and enjoy a successful weekend.”
Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing
“It is fantastic to be here in Singapore and to be able to compete on this amazing street circuit and witness the first ever TCR International Series night race. We currently lead the drivers’ championship and we are firmly focused on capturing the teams’ championship lead this weekend as well. Having both the International and Asian programs together, while supporting the Formula One is a fantastic opportunity and shows just how important this series is in the world of motorsport."