|Customer Racing Junior Driver Luca Engstler joins WTCR grid for Race of Macau
- Luca Engstler will deputise for Augusto Farfus in a one-off appearance for the BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team for the WTCR Race of Macau
- The drive comes as Farfus faces an unavoidable clash of commitments during the Macau Grand Prix weekend
- The call-up for Engstler comes after a superb season where he has won both the TCR Malaysia and TCR Asia titles, as well as winning races in TCR Europe and TCR China with the i30 N TCR.
Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver Luca Engstler will return to the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup grid for the Race of Macau weekend, standing in for Augusto Farfus at the BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team.
The one-off recall for the German, who competed as a WTCR wildcard entry at the Slovakia Ring earlier this season, comes as Farfus faces an unavoidable clash of commitments during the weekend at the Guia Circuit.
While the event will mark Engstler’s Macau debut, the call to deputise comes as deserved reward for the 19-year-old’s incredible season at the wheel of an i30 N TCR. One of the first group included in Hyundai Motorsport’s Customer Racing Junior Driver initiative following his second placed finish in the 2018 TCR Germany standings, he began his 2019 season with a comprehensive domination of the inaugural TCR Malaysia series, winning five of the championship’s six races.
He displayed similar form in the TCR Asia series, taking his i30 N TCR to five wins on his way to collecting the title. He also won both races on debut in TCR China on the same Ningbo International Speedpark track that hosted the Chinese FIA WTCR round. He currently lies fifth in the TCR Europe standings, with one win – at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
The Customer Racing Junior Driver program began at the start of the 2019 season a total of five drivers with i30 N TCR customers were included. Each was given support from Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing department engineers, and mentoring from current FIA WTCR pilots with the aim of helping them further their professional motorsport careers towards a full-time drive in FIA WTCR. Engstler’s form in TCR series around the world, and now his filling in with the Hyundai customers racing in FIA WTCR is the perfect illustration of the aims of the Junior Driver initiative.
Hyundai Motorsport Team Director Andrea Adamo said: “Luca Engstler has had an excellent season in TCR competition around and the decision by BRC Racing Team to recruit him for the Macau weekend is a massive reward for results this year. As a Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Junior Driver his results with the Hyundai i30 N TCR have been very impressive, and he has progressed superbly as part of the initiative. We have seen consistently in several series that he has the ability to race at the front and win. The step into FIA WTCR is – of course – a big one but both I, and BRC Racing Team, are confident that he can compete at the very highest level of Touring Car racing.”
Luca Engstler said: “I’m really happy to have this chance to race in the FIA World Touring Car Cup with the BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team. Since first driving the Hyundai i30 N TCR in TCR Germany last year I have been able to progress to first winning races, and then winning championships with the support of the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing department and the Junior Driver program, so to now have the chance in FIA WTCR is a huge opportunity. I’ve already started to train for the event. It will be a new track for me, and I expect the weekend to be very physical with three races on a very demanding street circuit. In such a competitive series as FIA WTCR you need arrive at the start of the weekend completely ready, so I’m using every minute to prepare.”