Honda Civic Type R TCR drivers launch WTCR season in Spain

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Honda’s customer racing teams have gathered at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona this week to officially launch the 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup.

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport and KCMG will both run a pair of Honda Civic Type R TCRs in what are sure to be 30 action-packed races on 10 racetracks split across three continents.


Having taken the title fight down to the Macau finale last year, Münnich driver Esteban Guerrieri returns aiming to improve on his – and the team’s – third-place finishes in the end-of-year standings.

The 34-year-old Argentinian – a two-time winner in the WTCR last year – begins his second full season as a Honda Racing driver with a new team-mate; countryman Nestor Girolami.

‘Bebu’, 29, is a two-time champion of his homeland’s ultra-competitive Super TC2000 Championship, having secured his first start and his first win in the series in a Honda.

He brings race-winning pedigree from his only previous season of international competition in the World Touring Car Championship in 2017.

Long-time Honda Racing driver Tiago Monteiro heads the line-up at KCMG, who become the first Asian team to compete in the WTCR full-time; graduating after winning the TCR Europe Teams’ Championship with the Civic Type R TCR.

The 42-year-old Portuguese driver missed almost the whole of the 2018 season through injury, but is ready to battle hard in what will be his seventh full year with the Honda Racing family.

His team-mate, Attila Tassi, is the youngest driver on the grid at just 19, but the Hungarian possesses a prodigious talent.

He finished as runner-up in the 2017 TCR International Series and fourth in TCR Europe last year; both times as part of a Civic Type R TCR set-up that claimed the Teams’ title, and made his WTCR debut as a wildcard at his home circuit of the Hungaroring last May.

A number of new rules have been introduced for WTCR 2019; primarily a new scoring system that rewards the top 15 finishers, as well as a standardised system across all races and qualifying points now awarded to the top-five in both sessions.

Teams are limited to two cars each with no brand allowed more than four full-time entries while opening practice has been increased to 45 minutes and will generally be held on the first day of each meeting.

The WTCR kicks off at the semi-permanent Circuit Moulay el Hassan in Marrkech, Morocco, on April 6-7 and then takes in five more venues in Europe – including the astonishing Nürburgring Nordschleife in June.

After a summer break, the series resumes in Asia in a final quartet of rounds that includes Honda’s home event at Suzuka Circuit, Japan, and – for the first time – a spectacular season finale at Sepang, Malaysia, on December 12-14.

Esteban Guerrieri #86 : « I am very happy to continue with the Honda Racing Family and with ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport in 2019. Last year I had some incredible high points, including winning at the two most difficult circuits on the calendar at the Nürburgring and Macau, and we ended the season with the best momentum of any team. Having ‘Bebu’ in the team with me will be great. We are good friends and have raced against each other for many years. He’s an extremely fast driver and a great team player, which will be incredibly important as we mount our challenge for the championship. »

Nestor Girolami #71 : « I am extremely proud to join the Honda Racing family in the FIA WTCR and very grateful to ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport for trusting me with the Civic Type R TCR, which is a car very capable of being the championship winner. I spent the Suzuka race weekend last year with the team and it was very clear from the way they do things that the potential is there to fight for the championship. My feelings have only become stronger as we’ve worked through winter testing. I’m thrilled to have Esteban as a team-mate because we have a very good relationship. I will give it my very best this year and cannot wait for the first race. »

Tiago Monteiro #18 : « It’s incredibly exciting to return to racing full-time this year with KCMG and Honda and to welcome a young, fast and determined team-mate in Attila, who I know will be great to work with. KCMG may be new to WTCR, but they have a fantastic track record in every form of motorsport they’ve contested plus a huge amount of touring car experience within the team, so we should be competitive from the first event. It’s been a long road to recovery, but the support I’ve been shown throughout by Honda, the WTCR and the entire motorsport family has been incredible. Attending the events when I wasn’t racing was tough, and my comeback in Japan was incredibly emotional. It’s been a tough a journey, but I have no doubt that I’m stronger and more motivated than I’ve ever been and eager to win the championship that was taken away from me by injury in 2017. »

Attila Tassi #19 : « I’m absolutely delighted to become a Honda Racing driver and to step up to the WTCR for a full season with KCMG. It’s a dream come true and I’m very grateful to have this opportunity at 19 years of age. So far in my racing career I’ve always been able to fight for victories and podiums, but I know that this will be the highest-level series I’ve ever contested and I had a taste of this in my wildcard outing at the Hungaroring last year. There will be many circuits I have never been to before and lots of new additional things too, so I know that I have to take this as a learning year, but the environment in the team is very good for a young driver like me, so I think we can achieve some strong results and move forwards during the year. »

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