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Tarquini to race TCR in 2016?

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    Tin Top veteran and Former Grand Prix driver Gabrielle Tarquini has opened up to the possibility of joining the ever expanding TCR International Series in 2016, possibily behind the wheel of a JAS Sport run Honda Civic TCR.

    52 year old Tarquini has surprisingly found himself without a drive for 2016 after the Castrol Honda World Touring Car team decided against renewing the Italian's contract for a 4th season.

    WTCC Champion in 2009 at the wheel of a works SEAT, Tarquini remains a top tier driver despite his advancing years, finishing above both works Honda teammate Tiago Montiero and Hungarian privateer Norbet Michelisz to complete the season in 5th position with 4 podiums to his credit.

    “We are incredibly grateful for everything Gabriele has given to Honda, both most recently in WTCC and throughout his career,” said Robert Watherston, Honda Motor Europe Head of Motorsports. “He’s played a significant role in our touring car efforts over the years, not least in helping develop the current Honda Civic WTCC machine from which the Civic Type R road car is derived.

    “For 2016 we have taken the decision to refresh our factory effort with the Castrol Honda WTCC team, which means that whilst we are naturally sad to lose Gabriele, we wave goodbye to him with fondness in our hearts and good memories of a great relationship. For Gabriele, we are now looking at other opportunities within the Honda Racing family and I personally would like to wish him all the very best. For the Castrol Honda WTCC team, we will be able to announce more changes and our renewed driver line-up in due course as we reset our sights on next year’s championship.”


    For his part Tarquini is keen to continue racing at a high level, when questioned about his future plans by motorsport.com, the Italian confirmed with limited options of a works drive in the WTCC then a role in the new TCR International Series would offer a serious alternative:

    I do not deny that [TCR] could be a very valuable alternative,” admitted Tarquini. “I have followed it from the outside and I can see the boom it has enjoyed in its first season.

    “It was offered to me, why not? I still want to race, so TCR would surely be an option.”

    With Honda admitting they would like to keep Tarquini on its driving strength, a seat in one of the many compeditive TCR Civics is a very real possibility, and might actually provide the veteran driver with a much needed career refresh back in the hunt for championships and victories, a position very much deserved for one of the sports great hero's.

    “I have many, many good memories of racing with Honda over the years, and we go back a long way,” said Tarquini. “I totally respect (Honda’s) decision for next year, and will only keep good memories of our seasons together. I am proud to have been a part of Honda’s return to World Touring Cars, and wish the team all the very best. My main objectives remain to continue to race next year so I am currently exploring options, but in parallel I am continuing to talk to Honda about remaining involved in their future programmes outside of WTCC.”

    At 52, is Gabrielle Tarquini too old to compete at the top of touring car racing? Let us know in the comments section below!
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
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  2. Arne Dopudja

    Arne Dopudja
    Leader of the infamous Chevy Gang.

    Just the right age for touring cars. Old dogs do it best.
  3. Bram

    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    Tarquini is a big name in toca racing so it's great that he joins the series. But apart from his name he is nothing more than an overly aggressive rammer imo.
  4. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    The man is pure magic!

    Still has what it takes to compete with the best of the best, I would love to see him in a Volvo in the WTCC but failing that a top drive in TCR or a top drive in the BTCC would do fine.

    He needs to not be lost from the touring car scene, he's too entertaining. It would be such a shame to see him go the Zanardi route and disappear into GT racing... he's made for a tin top touring car :)

    For avoidance of doubt, yes, Im a fan. :D
  5. Arne Dopudja

    Arne Dopudja
    Leader of the infamous Chevy Gang.

    That's called italian passion! :D