Girolami Jr tipped to be “fast and smart” by WTCR title-chasing brother
Néstor Girolami expects his younger brother Franco to be “fast and smart” when the TCR Europe series begins at the Slovakia Ring this weekend.
TCR Europe is the final step on the ladder to the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup and several leading WTCR drivers gained experience in TCR Europe before they graduated.
They include Mikel Azcona and Santiago Urrutia, who have both won races in the WTCR and will be among the leading contenders this season along with fellow graduates Andreas Bäckman, Jessica Bäckman, Luca Engstler and Gilles Magnus.
For Franco Girolami, talk of a WTCR future might be premature as he embarks on his first full season in TCR Europe driving a Honda Civic Type R TCR for PSS Racing as team-mate to Viktor Davidovski. However, Néstor Girolami expects his younger sibling to impress having supported his pre-season testing programme.
“I am happy for him to be in Europe because he deserved this opportunity after becoming champion in Top Race V6 [in Argentina] in 2019,” said Girolami Sr. “It will be tough because he needs to know every track and the first year is more about learning. But, at the same time, he needs to perform, he needs to deliver results if he wants to progress.
“He knows that and he needs to be fast and smart at the same time to avoid mistakes and to finish the year in the top three, which could be his target for this season. It’s a high target but at the same time it’s a target that he needs to follow to perform well and if he wants to have the opportunity to progress he needs to perform very, very well.
“He’s strong, he knows how to drive the TCR car. When he was testing, I was with him trying to give my feeling and my experience in WTCR and I am happy he is racing with Honda, which is the same brand for me so it’s really good we can share things.
“I am trying to transmit 100 per cent my feeling with the car and how to drive the car to him, even if it’s different tyres and you have to drive different when you have different tyres. But all my experience I will tell him because with this experience he can go through different steps the fastest.”
Eight drivers with WTCR experience will be taking part in the TCR Europe season opener. They include defending champion Mehdi Bennani, plus Nicolas Baert, Mato Homola, Niels Langeveld, Dániel Nagy and Jack Young. Current WTCR stars Mikel Azcona and Tom Coronel will also be in action.