Wild at home: Six newcomers on Macau WTCR entry
Six wildcard racers from Macau will get their moment in the spotlight when they contest the final rounds of the 2018 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO in the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China from 15-18 November.
André Couto, winner of the Macau Grand Prix in 2000 and a former World Touring Car driver, has been nominated by the TCR China promoter – at the invitation of WTCR promoter Eurosport Events – for the street event as the representative of title-winning entrant MacPro Racing Team.
Meanwhile, Filipe de Souza, Lo Kai Fung, Lam Kam San, Kevin Wing Kin Tse and Rui Valente were among a number of drivers to apply to the Macanese ASN, the AAMC, to take part in the three WTCR OSCARO races, which make up the legendary Suncity Group Macau Guia Race. Following a rigorous assessment process, they were selected and their inclusion on the entry list, along with Couto, has been approved by the FIA.
De Souza and Lam will race the Audi RS 3 LMS for Champ Motorsport, Lo – who races as Billy Lo – will drive one of the German machines for TSRT Zuver Team, while Valente will line up in a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR for PCT-IXO Models Racing Team. Couto is entered by MacPro Racing Team in a Honda Civic Type R TCR. Teamwork Motorsport will run Tse in an Audi RS 3 LMS.
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, said: “Although we always managed to welcome one or two drivers from Macau during the TC1 era, the cost and scarcity of the former WTCC cars did not make it easy for local drivers to join the Macau grid. Given the amount of TCR cars running in Asia, the scenario is now very different from the TC1 regulations. We have received around 20 enquiries from local drivers but we obviously could not accommodate them all. As well as counting as the Guia Race, WTCR Race of Macau is the deciding event of the 2018 season with prestigious FIA titles up for grabs. We have therefore worked closely with the FIA, the Macau ASN and the TCR China promoter to ensure the drivers handed wildcard status are ready for the high-level competition they will face, and will be capable of qualifying within the lowered 105 per cent limit. With 31 cars on the grid, the Macau finale promises to be a great spectacle with all the action live on television around the world.”
The venue of the closing round of the inaugural WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO, Circuito da Guia challenges and thrills in equal measure. Blending twisting turns and narrow blasts with long, wide-open straights and sweeping corners, the demanding 6.120-kilometre layout also contains a plethora of gradient and surface changes. WTCR racer Tom Coronel describes Macau as the “coolest track on the planet”, record nine-time Guia Race winner Rob Huff calls it “magical”, while Esteban Guerrieri says it’s the most “intense lap” in racing.