Young gun Magnus earns second WTCR season
Gilles Magnus has been handed the opportunity to build on his impressive debut campaign in the WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup with a second season in the series.
After being fast-tracked from TCR Europe by the RACB National Team talent-search scheme, Magnus won the inaugural WTCR Rookie Driver award in 2020 by dominating the class with 13 wins. But he achieved much more, holding a podium position for a time at the season-opening WTCR Race of Belgium, before entering the WTCR Race of Aragón finale as one of the overall title contenders. He ended the year with four outright podiums and placed runner-up in the WTCR Trophy.
With continued support from the RACB National Team, the 21-year-old from Belgium will drive a second-generation Audi RS 3 LMS on Goodyear tyres in this season’s WTCR under the Comtoyou Team Audi Sport banner.
It will be the third straight season − his second in the WTCR – that Magnus has received RACB National Team support after he secured his initial scholarship seat for 2019 via a five-way driver shootout. And by confirming its backing of Magnus, the RACB National Team continues its unwavering commitment to equipping young hopefuls with the resources and skills they need to excel at international level, just as it did for Stoffel Vandoorne and Thierry Neuville earlier in their careers.
“I said after winning the WTCR Rookie Driver award last year that if I get the opportunity to drive again in WTCR I will go for the overall title, but I’m still young and hopefully I have a long career in front of me,” said Magnus, an ex-karter and single-seater racer. “WTCR was something I’d dreamed of for so long and being here is something that really changes you in a positive way. Being competitive is even better and even how I work with the team I improved a lot. We showed our pace to play in the front and that’s really important.”
Of his support from the RACB, Magnus said: “I can only be grateful and thankful for this opportunity and support. Without them I wouldn’t be here so thanks to these guys, they really do really great things with young Belgian guys like me. They give them opportunities, which otherwise they would never have, so thank you is all I can say.”
RACB National Team General Manager Geoffroy Theunis said: “We worked hard to bring Gilles back on the WTCR grid. He’s deserved it with his Rookie title and it will be fantastic to see Gilles in the second year when I hope he’ll be one of the frontrunners. It’s a great series for the young guns.”
As well as chasing outright WTCR success in 2021, Magnus will be eligible for the redefined FIA WTCR Junior Driver Title. It’s open to drivers 24 or under on January 1, 2021, who did not take part in any WTCR or FIA World Touring Car Championship events prior to 2019.