|The new world Touring Car Cup (WTCR) has announced that former Champions Yvan Muller and current champion Thed Bjork have signed up for the series.|
In related news, Esteban Guerrieri and Tiago Monteiro also became the latest star drivers to join the 2018 WTCR grid; Guerrieri will drive for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, while Monteiro has signed on with Boutsen Ginion Racing team.
Muller, the four-time champion, runs his own outfit and will run a Hyundai i30 N TCR. Returning to the fray, Muller quit full-time driving at the end of 2016 to grow his eponymous team and take on a new development driver and senior advisor role at Polestar Cyan Racing. It was a hugely successful move with Björk winning the WTCC Drivers’ title and his Polestar Cyan Racing team capturing the Manufacturers’ crown with the Volvo S60.
Having formed a strong alliance in 2017, Björk and Muller will race together for a full WTCR season in 2018. But while Björk is targeting another title, Frenchman Muller has other objectives. “My goal is a bit different than in the past. I have done my career and my focus now is on the team and our development rather than outright results. I am pleased to have Thed involved, he trusts me and I trust him. There is no doubt that he is a great driver, I know because I spent the season with him last year,” said Muller.
Björk was a multiple Swedish Touring Cars championship winner when he switched to the WTCC full time in 2016. He scored his, Volvo and Polestar Cyan Racing’s first win towards the end of that season before claiming top honours in a thrilling final-round showdown in Qatar last December. “I am excited to be back for the 2018 season, especially with Yvan (Muller). We had a great cooperation last year. To race together with him in the new regulations is truly motivating and inspiring. We have a lot of new things to learn and the competition is hard, but my goal is to win,” commented the 2017 WTCC champion.
Monteiro and Guerrieri race the Civic TCRs in 2018 WTCR season
Having won for Honda in last season’s FIA World Touring Car Championship and achieved considerable success throughout their careers, Guerrieri and Monteiro will race the make’s Civic TCR in the inaugural 10-event WTCR season.
For Argentine Guerrieri, the announcement will enable the 33-year-old to continue showcasing his considerable talent in world touring car racing. For Monteiro the move marks the next stage of Portuguese driver’s return to action from serious injury.
Guerrieri said, “I felt like last year was a real breakthrough year for me in world touring cars, so I’m extremely pleased to be racing a Honda Civic in 2018. TCR is the fastest-growing touring car category in the world and I’m incredibly excited to be a part of this program. I had some great races against the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich cars in the WTCC last year and it’s clear they can run a very fast machine, so I’m optimistic of putting together a title challenge.”
Th WTCR is set to kick off the pre-season testing program, prior to the first race of the season at Circuit Moulay El Hassan in Marrakech, Morocco from 7-8 April.