Bargwanna to race TCR in Europe

The son of Bathurst 1000 winner Jason Bargwanna has locked in an intercontinental programme that take in the entirety of the TCR Australia season and a total of four TCR World Tour rounds.

Two of those rounds will happen as part of the seven-round TCR Australia season, with the Bathurst International, and either the Sandown or Sydney Motorsport Park round, to be part of the WTCR replacement.

In addition to that Bargwanna will take part in the World Tour rounds at the Algarve circuit in Portugal (April 28-30) and at Spa-Francorchamps (May 26-28).

In Australia he will continue to race a Peugeot 308 run by Garry Rogers Motorsport, while for the European events he will race a Peugeot run by Team Clairet Sport.

Both cars will be backed by Burson Auto Parts.

“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to make this happen, and I cannot thank Burson Auto Parts enough for the chance to represent them on the world stage, as well a fight for the TCR Australia title,” said Bargwanna.

“When the World Tour format become public, and there was a hint of a opportunity to compete, it was something I was wanted to be a part of.

“For it now to become a reality has made me feel a foot taller with pride and excitement. The thought that I will represent Australia at a world championship level and to be able to have crack at Algarve and Spa is mind blowing. I can’t wait to attack Eau Rouge – let me at it!

“It’s fair to say my simulator will get a work out this year in preparation for the two starts in Europe.

“Our main goal is to win the Australian title, but I am sure my three other GRM Peugeot teammates will start the year with the same objective. I look forward to making the Peugeots one, two, three and four in the championship, and building a strong campaign and delivering the result the team deserves.”

The two-pronged programme will be overseen by Bargwanna Sr, who is confident that his son can fight for the Aussie title.

“Ben has come of age in the last couple of seasons, and we start the 2023 season with our eyes firmly set on the championship victory,” said the former Supercars star.

“His track record is compiled with pole positions, podiums and race wins, so now it’s about putting that all together to compete for the championship.

“The new World Tour format has made it possible, and within reach for Ben, to sample the world’s best TCR drivers and teams prior to the two Australian rounds of the World Tour where we want to be right at the front of the field in our backyard.

“It’s going to be a bit of ‘wow’ moment for Ben competing at Portimao and Spa, and both [my wife] Deb and I are extremely proud – and yet I am seriously jealous at the same time!

“We have the confidence in GRM and the team of great people as we commit to the Peugeot for the upcoming season. We know that the new-generation of cars are fast, but we believe that a well driven and run Peugeot can be more than a match for the newer toys out on the track.

“Team Clairet Sport was a clear and easy choice for our international campaign, and allows us to stay with the Peugeot brand in a competitive outfit. It is a team we already have a connection with after Bathurst Last year when Teddy Clairet joined GRM for the Bathurst International.

“On paper, the Peugeot 308 TCR may be a little outgunned on the world stage, but the experience will be invaluable, and when they all come to Bathurst in November – lookout!”

The 2023 TCR Australia season kicks off at Symmons Plains on February 24-26.

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