Engstler leaves WTCC for new TC3 series

Franz Engstler brings his tenure in the WTCC to an end in favour of a move into the new TC3 International Series.
Engstler leaves WTCC for new TC3 series

World Touring Car veteran Franz Engstler has confirmed he won't return to the series in 2015 as he prepares to take his team into the burgeoning TC3 International Series.

The German has raced a BMW 320si under his own Liqui Moly-backed Team Engstler outfit since 2008, the 53 year-old's career peaking in 2011 when he took his first and only win on home soil at the Oschersleben en route to eighth in the series.

However, having opted not to upgrade to the WTCC's new TC1 regulations for 2014, Engstler persevered with the TC2 class for older cars but was largely uncontested in a field of just three cars. He would win all but three races.

As such, Engstler has chosen to pursue a new challenge for 2015 by joining the newly-created TC3 International Series with a trio of VW Golf entries that will retain backing from Liqui Moly.

"We are going back to our roots: a racing series consisting exclusively of independent drivers, with equal chances for all teams. A series in which the drivers' skill can make the difference," said Peter Baumann, Marketing Manager at LIQUI MOLY. "Racing is for us the best marketing tool, which allows to invite customers and introduce our brand. TC3 has a special focus on Asia, which is where our business is growing at the fastest rate."

Dubbed as a privateer world championship for touring car teams, TC3 will get three headline slots on the F1 support package next year in Malaysia, China and Singapore, while the calendar includes events in Russia, Argentina, Thailand and Chile too.

Teams that have already signed up include former GP2 outfit Coloni and leading Swedish entry WestCoast Racing (Honda Civic).

The TC3 website lists eligible cars to compete as including the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, VW Golf, Mercedes CLA, Nissan Pulsar, Hyundai Velostar, SEAT Leon, Renault Megane and Audi S3

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