WTCR tip for the top: #2 Santiago Urrutia
Of the 29 drivers who raced in the 2020 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup, 13 were 25 or under. Among them was a 24-year-old from Uruguay, Santiago Urrutia from Cyan Performance Lynk & Co, this week’s FIAWTCR.com tip for the top.
It started like this… “My Grandad give us a little motorcycle. At the time I was only three years old, like a baby, but I started just riding the bike around the [family] farm. At one point my Dad said, ‘do you want to race?’ and I start racing when I was three. If you think about it, they were a little bit crazy, but I started racing motocross until I had a big crash and my Mum said, ‘Santi, this is enough, if you want to keep racing I want to give you a go-kart’. So, she took a credit from the bank, because it was a really bad year in Uruguay and my Mum is just a school teacher. But she give me the go-kart and I start racing when I was five.”
From Braga to the big time: Following success racing karts in his homeland, Urrutia broadened his horizons and ultimately ended up competing in the CIK-FIA World Cup in Braga, Portugal in 2010, the catalyst to a racing career. “It was the first time I flew to Europe. There was Alex Albon, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Esteban Occon and I did pretty cool. I was running third in the pre-final, Max was leading the race, second was Alex Albon and we crashed with each other. At the time I couldn’t speak English but I was super-mad with Max Verstappen.”
Move to Europe: “I impressed the team and they said, ‘we want to have you next year’, which was 2011. But, at the time, I was only 14. I look at my Dad and I say, ‘I want to race, I want to do it professional, in the proper way, but my Dad said, ‘you are only 14 so I have to talk with your Mum and we have to see how we can deal with this’. They make the decision to let me go and I go to live in Europe when I was only 14. I was working in the factory to pay my bills and I was racing go-karts. I left my house when I was 14 to follow my dream.”
America next: After impressing in Europe, Urrutia headed to the USA. After winning the Pro Mazda title in 2015, he stepped up to Indy Lights and challenged for the title three years running.
Did you know? Urrutia came out on top of a driver shootout to secure his Cyan Performance Lynk & Co WTCR seat for 2020. He paid back the Swedish team in droves by becoming the TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver at WTCR Race of Spain and by claiming a win at the season-closing WTCR Race of Aragón.
|WTCR 2020 record|
|WTCR starts||16||Q1 appearances||6|
|WTCR wins||1||Q2 appearances||5|
|WTCR poles||2||Q3 appearances||3|
|WTCR fastest laps||1||Best qualifying result||1|
|WTCR laps led||12||Best race result||1|