WTCR Q&A: Gilles Magnus
Gilles Magnus, 20, will step up to the WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup this season, driving an Audi RS 3 LMS for Comtoyou Racing with the full support of the RACB National Team. This is what the Belgian talent has had to say.
How did this chance to step up to WTCR come about?
“We already announced at the beginning of the year we would be doing TCR Europe, which was already a nice opportunity after I won one race in 2019. Then Geoffroy Theunis from RACB started talking to me about WTCR being a possibility but I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen. But a few days ago, he called me and said, ‘everything was done and we were going to be doing WTCR’, so it’s a dream come true. I am only 20 years old and I didn’t see it coming, so that makes it even more special and I’m really excited. It’s an amazing championship with amazing names like Muller, Tarquini, Coronel, all big guys with a lot of experience.”
You mentioned some big names there and there are many more. Are you ready?
“You always feel ready for more and I definitely feel ready. Although I only have one year of experience in TCR I adapted myself really quick. WTCR is something special and in this new, even higher level, I will adapt myself quick and let’s hope I can do some results. Although the level is really high let’s make the best of it and let’s see.”
How important is it to continue with your team from 2019, Comtoyou Racing, and the car you know well, the Audi RS 3 LMS?
“That’s a good thing, I know everyone. It’s the same as doing another TCR Europe season only with a higher level. The team is the same so that’s really good you have one year of experience with the same people. That’s always an advantage.”
Of the tracks on the calendar you have experience of the Hungaroring but are the others new?
“I know Hungaroring and also Aragón, I have done some single-seater races there. But all other tracks are new to me. It won’t be easy but I like a challenge.”
And the challenge doesn’t get much bigger than the Nürburgring Nordschleife?
“It has always been a dream to be there, to drive there. I’ve done a 24-hour race around the Nürburgring but in a simulator. At least I know where the track is going left and right. But once you are on the real track it will be different with all the height changes and all the details. For sure there will still be some work to do to learn it.”
What does the RACB’s support mean to you?
“It’s a massive opportunity for Belgian drivers, not only in WTCR but also single-seaters. They made Stoffel Vandorne a Formula One driver and Thierry Neuville is where he is thanks to the RACB. It’s a real honour to be a part of it and it would be amazing if every country had this same organisation. I’m very happy and I realise the chance and the opportunity I have now. I’m really pushing myself to make the best of it.”