Honda Racing drivers Nestor Girolami, Esteban Guerrieri, Tiago Monteiro and Attila Tassi will be aiming to bow out on a high as the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup concludes in Jeddah this weekend.
The final round of this year’s campaign at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit – the 23rd track to host the series – marks the swansong for the WTCR, which will not continue into 2023.
It will be the first time the 3.450-kilometre version of the Formula 1 grand prix venue has been used, with both races on the Saudi Arabian street circuit taking place at night under the lights.
All four drivers have raced exclusively for Honda customer teams during their time in the WTCR, and have been part of an unchanged Honda Racing driver line-up for the past four seasons.
Nestor goes into the weekend second in the drivers’ standings and remains in mathematical contention for the 2022 title.
The Argentinian has enjoyed an impressive campaign aboard the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, having taken two wins and three pole positions so far.
With 65 points left on offer and a 60-point gap to the leader, the focus for ‘Bebu’ is on extracting the maximum from a weekend where the Civic Type R TCR is likely to be better-suited to the track than it was in Bahrain two weeks ago.
Esteban’s achievements in the WTCR are numerous; his tally of 10 wins in the series’ history cannot be matched, while he shares the record for most starts (105), has scored more points – 1103 – than any other driver, and has also achieved 25 podium finishes in five seasons of competition.
The most recent of those came last time out in Bahrain, when Esteban finished second, to restore momentum to his campaign that he hopes will continue at the season finale.
Tiago has also been a major player in the WTCR story, having made his comeback from injury after more than a year on the sidelines at Honda’s home circuit of Suzuka in 2018.
The Portuguese returned full-time the following year and scored the most emotional of wins as he triumphed in front of his home fans in Vila Real, while he also took a pole position at Suzuka that season and in 2021 added a second win with a masterful drive at the Nürburgring.
Tiago’s 2022 campaign has not been a straightforward one, but he is optimistic the characteristics of the Jeddah circuit will allow for a competitive send off.
His LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler team-mate Attila will feature in the WTCR record books as the youngest driver to have taken a pole position, having qualified fastest in Vila Real in 2019 in just his seventh weekend of WTCR competition aged 19.
Attila joined the WTCR winners’ circle at Estoril last year and has three further podium finishes in the series – a tally he wants to add to in Saudi Arabia.
Track activity in Jeddah begins on Friday evening with an hour-long ‘FP0’ test session, with FP1 and FP2 taking place on Saturday afternoon.
Qualifying is at 6.30pm local time that evening, with Race One starting at 7.45pm on Sunday and Race two following at 10.15pm.
Néstor Girolami #29 – ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport : « We have to be realistic and say the title will be difficult to achieve, but I am proud that we have been able to take the fight to the final round of the season and we go into the weekend with an open mind. ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport have operated at a really high level and we head to Jeddah believing there is every possibility to be in the battle for another victory, which would be a great way to end the season and to thank the team for their efforts, not just this season but throughout my time in the WTCR. »
Esteban Guerrieri #86 – ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport : « There are of course plenty of emotions in the build-up to this weekend, and I’m sure it will be a very strange feeling to step into the Civic Type R TCR for the last time in the WTCR on Sunday evening. Together with ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport I have set records that I am incredibly proud of over the past five years, which have given me some of the best moments of my career. But there’s still a job to be done, so let’s try to create even more great memories and end the season in the best possible way. »
Tiago Monteiro #18 – LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler : « The last five years have been a real rollercoaster so I hope there is one final crest to reach before the finish. This season has not been an easy one but we kept our focus and did all we could to get on with the job and represent Honda in the best way we could; it would be nice to have that rewarded with strong results in both races. We expect this track should suit the characteristics of the car better than the previous round in Bahrain, and we’ll still carry weight close to the maximum, but it’s also up to us to get the maximum out of the package and we’re as motivated as ever to do that and fight for a strong finish. »
Attila Tassi #9 – LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler : « Racing in the WTCR has been a huge part of my development and it has been a real privilege to represent Honda as a driver for four seasons. The faith that has been shown in me is something I will always be grateful for. The past two weekends we have shown good speed and racecraft but have not had the rewards for it, so I really hope we get the chance to show that speed one final time in Jeddah and can challenge to match – or even better – mine and LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler’s best result of the season. »
Soyez le premier à commenter