Welcome to our weekly wallpaper series, where we attempt to remove whatever boring standard desktop wallpaper came with your computer, phone, tablet, or any other device with a screen—and replace it with something better. Something, preferably, with four wheels and a fantastic exhaust note.
This week's wallpapers are pretty special—they feature the first photos of our Volkswagen GTI TCRs on track this year!
After hundreds (probably thousands) of hours of preparation, our cars have finally made it to the first event of the 2019 TC America Championship season at COTA. Just last week they were right here in Milford, Connecticut having the finishing touches put on them. And when I say finishing touches, I mean having brand new Sadev sequential gearboxes installed. Our team and our friends at Heinlein Racing Development really came through in getting the cars and everything that goes along with them, together in time for this weekend.
Yesterday was a day of firsts for our VW TCRs at COTA. Somehow, (miraculously) the entirety of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge was dry; not a drop of rain fell for a single test or race day. Yesterday at COTA was the first time our TCRs have ever been fitted with their water shoes. To make things even more interesting, not only were Nate Vincent and Michael Hurczyn learning the cars on wet tires, this was their first time running the TCRs with their new sequential gearboxes.
We quickly found out that these new sequentials are the real deal, propelling our cars into the upper echelon of competition. Faster to rev-up, quicker to shift, and we can't forget to mention the new soundtrack that goes along with them—they command more respect from the drivers. Nate, driver of the #72 TCR, commented, "These new sequentials are violent, yet make you feel in complete control." Michael, driver of the #71 car, added, "The way in which they fire off shifts, they feel like a purpose-built bolt-action rifle."
While the aggressive shifting of the new sequentials is a welcome addition, allowing our cars to run as fast in the rain as they did in the dry last year, they're not without their pitfalls. We quickly found out that the violence of the shifting put added stress on other components; with the first casualty being our alternator. Thankfully, Gareth, our BMW Catalog Manager and part of our crew, was able to quickly identify the issue and remedy it. I suppose out of all the problems we could run into, this is a pretty cool one to have.
These photos are just a teaser of what's to come. With half a day of practice and setup tweaking, followed by qualifying sessions as the temperature starts to warm up, our team has a busy day ahead of them. If you want to see more of our TCRs, definitely head to our motorsports series The Paddock on Amazon Prime Video or YouTube. Season two drops tonight on YouTube, so do like everyone does; get comfortable and binge season one in preparation!
All of these photos were taken by our friend Halston Pitman, you can check out his Instagram for more of his work. As always, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and check back here to keep your desktop looking fresh. If you have any suggestions or requests for future wallpapers, leave them in the comments below.
Writer/Editor at FCP Euro and owner of a daily R53 MINI Cooper, a track-built R53 MINI, and a 1997 Dakar Yellow E36 M3 Sedan. ••• Instagram: @evan.madore