|RICHARD GETS SECOND CHANCE TO SHINE IN THE WTCC|
*Former ETCC champion returns to Campos Racing for season closer
Kris Richard has been rewarded for his impressive FIA World Touring Car Championship debut in Japan last month by earning a call-up for the season-closing WTCC Race of Qatar this week.
Richard, whose outing in Japan was his prize for winning the 2016 FIA European Touring Car Cup, placed P14 and P12 in the two rain-hit races at Twin Ring Motegi, scoring WTCC Trophy points on each occasion.
For the night racing spectacular at the Losail International Circuit (30 November-1 December), the 23-year-old Swiss will make his second appearance for Campos Racing in place of Esteban Guerrieri, who continues as Tiago Monteiro’s stand-in at Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team.
“I’m really happy to get this opportunity again,” said Richard. “It’s good for promoting myself but of course it’s good for the experience and I really hope I can drive a TC1 World Touring Car in dry conditions to really try to prove what I can do. I know where the buttons are and I know how the car works and this helps the confidence, especially after Japan.”
Of his target for Qatar, Richard said: “The first goal is to get into Q2, the second to catch Tom Coronel because he has the same car as me and he’s a very experienced driver. After this I want to show some good skills, some good manoeuvres and have some nice fights. Of course I have to be realistic but a top 10 would be perfect for me. I know it will be difficult but if we can bring everything together I am optimistic I can do something.”
As well as the expertise of the Campos Racing team, which has a proven track record of guiding young drivers during their early WTCC forays, Richard’s father Andi will provide additional on-site support as the younger Richard gets his first taste of racing at night.
“I’ve looked at some on-boards several times and the first impression is I like this track,” said Richard. “Racing at night will be a new experience but I’ve seen from the footage the floodlights mean it’s close to being like daylight.”
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the WTCC promoter, said: “Kris did a good job in Japan with very little experience so it will be interesting to see how he can build on that experience.”