The Opel Astra TCR (Touring Car Racing) is Opel’s new customer-car built specifically to be eligible for the Touring Car Racing series, as well as for endurance racing such as the Nürburgring 24 Hours. It debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015 in time for the new, low-cost, high-performance TCR series.
The TCR series runs its FIA-regulated cars in dozens of global touring car championships including the jewel-in-the-crown, the TCR International Series that travels around the world to 11 races, including Project CARS 2-bound venues such as Imola, Spa, and Oschersleben.
The FIA-regs controlling the TRC are also used at nationalevents in over two dozen countries, as well as the European Touring Car Cup, 24H Series, and Touring Car Endurance Series where TCR cars are allowed to compete alongside the GT cars.
TCR regs are also used for the Super Taikyu Series in Japan, and even the mythical Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring (VLN) series.
The regulations are designed to ensure really close racing and in 2015, Opel chose to fully upgrade its ageing Astra with this new Astra designed specifically with TCR-regs in mind.
The Astra 2015 comes with a highly-tuned 2-litre inline-4 turbocharged engine pushing out over 330hp to the front wheels; added to a dry weight of 1,200KGs, this five-door charger has some serious performance as a result—sub 5-second 0-100kmh, and a top speed of 250kmh (155mph).
Transmission is a hydraulic 6-speed paddle racing shifter that features a rapid-response automated double-declutching for smooth downshifting, while brake-balance is changeable in the cockpit. The cockpit has been totally stripped to reduce weight. Even better for those who like to control the car by the seat of the pants is that ABS and traction control are not present in order to meet TCR regs.
Designed for racing, and coming at a price of just over $100,000, means the chassis is fully adjustable and includes modern damper technology, wind-tunnel-tested aero’ including adjustable front splitter, and a massive rear spoiler along with fattened fenders and side-skirts.
Opel have had a lot of success with the Astra brand—over 12 million cars sold since 1991—and the TCR series, with its production-car-based regulations, is a perfect hunting ground for the Astra TCR.
“The philosophy of the TCR series matches Opel’s philosophy perfectly,” Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott said when the car was unveiled. “In times of strict cost control and the necessity of focusing on efficiency and sustainability, the TCR meets the requirements of manufacturers and teams alike. Competitive, spectacular motorsport with close-to-production but fascinating technology combined with calculable and controllable costs – that is exactly what Opel wants to see. I am sure that the new Astra has everything that it takes to be successful in the TCR series.”
The Astra TRC was developed alongside Opel’s legendary motorsport partner, Kissling Motorsport, and has already notched up some impressive results. An Opel Astra TCR won a class victory at the Green Hell in early October 2016 at the ninth round of the VLN series, and has enjoyed wins in numerous TCR series in Europe and worldwide.
You can run it in Project CARS 2 as part of Motorsports Car Pack—Season Pass Exclusive, available now.