GTD McLaren 720S GT3
- Paul Holton
- Matt Plumb
Coupal will contest the new TCR class in Pirelli World Challenge driving an Audi RS3 LMS Clubsport
TORONTO, CANADA – With the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season fast approaching, 17-year-old high school senior JT Coupal has signed with successful Canadian outfit Compass Racing and will contest the debut season of the series’ TCR class. He will be behind the wheel of the same Audi RS3 LMS Clubsport that he drove to eighth place in the PWC TC championship last season.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel, and to debuting the No. 77 BILSTEIN / Micro Precision Components / Race Day Foundation Audi RS 3 LMS,” enthused Coupal. “Audi's TCR car may look the same as last season, but it’s fundamentally changed in terms of performance, running in full TCR trim with nearly sixty more horsepower than we had last year. It handles in many circumstances as though it is rear-wheel drive rather than front, and the downforce it creates inspires confidence through even the sketchiest of corners.”
This season marks a change of team for Coupal with his move to Compass Racing. “We noted JT’s strong performances in World Challenge last season and are pleased to welcome him to our squad for TCR’s PWC debut,” remarked Team Principal Karl Thomson. “We had a great season last year with this platform, with our driver Paul Holton winning the TC championship, and we’re looking forward to continuing that success with JT, BILSTEIN and Micro Precision Components.”
The team is excited to return to the World Challenge paddock for its seventh season, especially with the TCR cars running as homologated by TCR International. This sanction is one of the fastest-growing formulas in world motorsports, and it’s easy to see why: great-looking, fast cars; exciting racing battles by superb drivers. “I’ve raced full-spec TCR cars at Dubai and Imola, and I think it will become the greatest touring car series the USA has seen in a long time,” said Coupal.
Knowing the PWC TCR field will see an influx of new, highly-capable entries, the squad has tapped last year’s champ, Holton, as JT’s driver coach. “We want to continue having top results, and know that there a lot of new, talents squads coming in,” noted Technical Director Ray Lee. “Paul has the most experience in the Audi of anyone in North America, and with JT having a solid year under his belt in the same car, we expect to hit the ground running at the season-opener at Circuit Of the Americas.”
At seventeen, Coupal continues to juggle the demands of his racing career with his schooling, deftly balancing his commitment to both. "It's never easy to miss school, but my teachers understand my situation and support my ambitions in motorsports,” explained Coupal. "They allow me breathing room while I'm gone, but I'll probably still be writing essays in the hotel rooms at COTA and VIR!” He plans to attend college for English and Journalism this fall.
The debut of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge TCR series will take place at Circuit Of the Americas near Austin, TX on March 22nd to 25th. The race is streamed live on http://world-challenge.com/streamvideo and will be broadcast, tape-delayed on CBS Sports.