LOCAL RISING STARS HANDED WTCR RACE OF HUNGARY WILDCARD ENTRIES
*Wildcard chance rewards two home-grown talents
*Teenager and TCR International runner-up Attila Tassi gets Hell Racing Honda
*Dániel Nagy returns to world level in M1RA Hyundai
Local talents Antti Tassi and Dániel Nagy will become the first wildcards to chase success in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO.
The Hungarian youngsters have been handed a huge opportunity to join the all-season racers at WTCR Race of Hungaroring from 27-29 April having demonstrated plenty of promise during their short careers.
Tassi, 18, runner-up to Jean-Karl Vernay in last season’s TCR International Series, will pilot a JAS Motorsport-built Honda Civic Type R TCR for the Hell Racing Team. Twenty-year-old Nagy, meanwhile, will compete in a Hyundai i30 N TCR for the M1RA squad, having demonstrated potential in the World Touring Car Championship in the past.
From WTCR Race of Hungary onwards, WTCR OSCARO promoter Eurosport Events, in partnership with motorsport’s world governing body, the FIA, is giving the opportunity for at least two additional drivers to join the entry on a one-off basis.
They could be promising talents from the host country worthy of showcasing their ability on a world stage or drivers with a strong link to the event or relevance to the local market.
“We are very pleased to announce the first two WTCR OSCARO wildcards, two local drivers with real promise who are determined to demonstrate the abilities in a very strong and highly competitive series,” said François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, promoter of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO. “As well as encouraging big names with a strong profile locally to race in WTCR, we always wanted the wildcard programme to give the chance to young drivers with real promise to showcase their abilities against touring car legends. And if they can perform to a super-high standard, then a full season in WTCR in 2019 will be richly deserved. We’re planning to announce a number of exciting wildcards over the coming months.”
Tassi: “I’m incredibly excited to race in WTCR”
Eighteen-year-old Hungarian Attila Tassi will become the second youngest WTCR OSCARO driver behind Benjamin Lessennes when he makes his debut in the series at his home event. JAS Motorsport’s Official Test and Development driver finished runner-up in last season’s TCR International Series and helped his former team, M1RA, to the entrants’ title. With support from Hell Energy and JAS Motorsport, Tassi will contest the TCR Europe this year. “I’m incredibly excited that I will race at the Hungaroring WTCR event with Hell Racing Team,” said Tassi. “It’s the result of a lot of hard work behind the scenes by a lot of people and I’m thrilled that this has all come together. To race in front of my home crowd in an FIA World Cup event is a dream come true. The level of competition will be higher than anything I’ve experienced in my racing career, but I’m not going there to make up the numbers and will instead push for the absolute best result I can possibly achieve. I can’t wait.”
Hungaroring race a one-off world return for Nagy
Dániel Nagy is no stranger to world touring car racing having spent two seasons in the WTCC with Zengő Motorsport. Although TCR Europe will be the Nagy’s focus in 2018, his home round of the WTCR provides the perfect platform for the 20-year-old and his M1RA team to impress. “My main aim this year is being competitive in TCR Europe with M1RA and the Hyundai i30 N TCR, but I am extremely motivated by this opportunity in WTCR, especially in front of a home crowd. I raced on home soil in the WTCC last year for first time and it will be a lifelong memory for me. This time I will drive exactly the same car as the other Hyundai drivers, so I am very curious what I can achieve in this excessively strong competition. I hope I can improve my confidence a bit with a good result one week before the start of TCR Europe.”
M1RA gets set for festival time
Dávid Bári, the M1RA Team Principal, says it will be amazing that his squad will be “part of the show” when the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO visits Hungaroring later this month. “It is a unique opportunity to race in these circumstances and to have the chance to compete with the same Hyundai i30 N TCR car as three world champions. As a one-year-old team, we could not wish for more. The weekend will be kind of a festival for Hungarian motorsport, and it is an amazing feeling that M1RA will be part of this show. It is [also] a special feeling to share the paddock with [Norbert Michelisz]. The team has worked incredibly hard since last year, and I am very proud of our progress. I have to say thank you for our sponsors and supporters to have [this] possibility.”
Details of wildcards for other upcoming WTCR events will be announced in due course.