The ultimate family team? Ehrlacher 'Lynks' up with Uncle Yvan for WTCR bid
Yann Ehrlacher will join forces with his multiple FIA World Touring Car title-winning uncle Yvan Muller for a shot at WTCR glory in 2020.
Ehrlacher and Muller have been named as the Cyan Racing Lynk & Co line-up for the upcoming WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season, with each driving a Geely Group Motorsport-built Lynk & Co 03 TCR on Goodyear tyres.
Ehrlacher: racing is in his blood
French hope Ehrlacher, 23, is the son of Cathy Muller, Yvan Muller’s older sister and a successful former racer in her own right. He scored six WTCR podiums in 2019 on his way to eighth in the final table driving for Cyan Performance Lynk & Co. He’s aiming much higher in 2020.
“I am looking for the top spot, definitely,” said Ehrlacher, who has two WTCR victories to his name. “Last year was to learn. We had a difficult start to the season and of course we had to maximise the points for my team-mates after that. I just hope it will be a good beginning of the season for us and we can be on the top arriving at mid-season to have the chance to fight for the title.”
“Mega opportunity” for Muller’s nifty nephew
“Yvan has been in every situation possible in motorsport either on the track or out of the track,” said Ehrlacher. “I am in this business now for three years which is not even 10 per cent of his career. So, it’s a mega opportunity to catch as much experience as I can from him. If I knew, seven years ago, when I was coming to the WTCC races to watch and was dreaming about being a driver, that one day, I would be in one of the best teams, pairing with my uncle, I would have signed straight away.”
Muller ready “to push even harder”
Although Yann Ehrlacher and Yvan Muller both raced with Lynk & Co power in 2019, they did so under the Cyan Performance and Cyan Racing banners respectively. Now they will both fly the Cyan Racing Lynk & Co flag, which Muller and Thed Björk guided to the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup for Teams. “We were in the same structure and were spending quite a lot of time together, living close to each other and travelling together,” said Muller, the four-time FIA World Touring Car champion. “But I am pleased I will now be in the same team picture as Yann!”
Ehrlacher’s progression pleases Uncle Yvan
“He progress a lot, he still has to progress, he is only 23, but his experience and capacity so far are much higher than most of the drivers,” said Muller, 50. “But, of course, he can still progress and improve his way to work, his driving, his technique. That is my target since he began driving.”
The pleasure remains
Having been in the WTCR title fight for the last two seasons, Muller has no plans to slow down, four years after he ‘retired’ from top-line motorsport. “Since I came back, I realised I still had the pleasure to do it,” he said. “With Yann also driving, my goal is to help him progress and that gives me even more motivation, plus the pleasure I have from being in the car. It helps me to still be competitive and we saw that last year.”
Muller ready to push even harder
“Lynk & Co Cyan Racing is the right place to be,” said Muller. “Everyone in the project, from Sweden to China, are motivated to push on for the ultimate goal of fighting for the world title again in 2020. Last year was a great testament to the efforts of everyone involved, going from the first development tests to winning races in less than 12 months. There is no doubt we need to push even harder this year, and I am ready.”
Amazing family adventure awaits
Cathy Muller is ready for an “amazing adventure” to unfold as she watches her son and brother racing together in the same WTCR team for the first time. “For the whole family it’s just an amazing adventure,” she said. “It’s only happiness, big stress too, but it’s really great because they are so strong together, they are working together and they are very close. If Yann is in front, Yvan will be very happy. There is a lot of competition because they are competitors but each one will be very happy for the other one. Yvan has nothing to prove anymore because he is the best. Since Yann is racing Yvan gave him everything, all his secrets and this is why Yann was growing very quick and is so mature. He always listens and learns and to takes what Yvan gave him. And he’s still learning and still showing his potential.”
Yann Ehrlacher and Yvan Muller WTCR in numbers
Yann Ehrlacher: WTCR starts: 60; WTCR wins: 2: WTCR poles: 1; WTCR fastest laps: 3; WTCR laps led: 32; WTCR points: 426
Yvan Muller: WTCR starts: 60; WTCR wins: 7: WTCR poles: 3; WTCR fastest laps: 1; WTCR laps led: 92; WTCR points: 634