The brand lines up four drivers at the wheels of the CUPRA TCR
After a successful 2018 at the TCR International Series, CUPRA’s racing spirit is back on the track for the 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO.
The brand will be present at the WTCR’s second season with four CUPRA drivers at the steering wheels of the CUPRA TCR, this year’s speed weapon for both PWR by CUPRA Racing and Comtoyou DHL by CUPRA Racing.
On one line of the grid, PWR by CUPRA Racing will make its first appearance in the international arena, featuring the current TCR Europe title winner Mikel Azcona and Sweden’s Daniel Haglöf. On the other side of the paddock, Comtoyou DHL by CUPRA Racing will be formed by the Netherland’s Tom Coronel and Aurélien Panis, son of Formula 1 driver Olivier Panis.
2019 will see the most competitive touring car international series season so far, with a #WTCR2019SUPERGRID of 26 cars and a powerful generational clash between young drivers and experienced pilots. Among the seven manufacturers, CUPRA perfectly embodies this year’s spirit by incorporating the tradition and development carried out in the past by SEAT Sport and the contemporary character and pioneering technology of the CUPRA brand.
A promising duo
After achieving multiple championship victories at the STCC - TCR Scandinavia, PWR by CUPRA Racing jumps into the highest level of touring car racing with its first season at the WTCR. The Swedish team will be represented by its co-founder Daniel Häglof and the 22 year old Spaniard Mikel Azcona, pairing the combination of experience and youthfulness needed to compete for international success.
As a veteran driver who built his own racing team seven years ago, Häglof has a long record of triumphs and achieved the third position in the STCC - TCR Scandinavia 2018, racking up six podiums and two victories. Daniel will be joined by Mikel Azcona, who despite his young age has a remarkable history in touring cars, finishing top three in all his championships over the past years.
The winning formula
The combination of expertise and youthfulness is also the strategy chosen by Comtoyou DHL by CUPRA Racing. The WTCR will enjoy an awaited comeback with the return of Tom Coronel, the driver with more races in the championship. The 46-year old has recently participated in the Dakar Rally and now joins the Belgian team alongside Aurélien Panis.
The son of 1996 Monaco Grand Prix winner Olivier Panis makes his second appearance at the WTCR but this year will be at the steering wheel of a CUPRA TCR, a decision made after observing the performance of CUPRA drivers last season: “Last year we saw that the car is really fast on every track. I feel really confident about that and I am really happy to work with CUPRA”, said Panis.
A bright outlook
Both teams have 10 race weekends ahead to prove their capabilities at the WTCR, which is scheduled to start in Morocco at the beginning of April. The 2019 calendar includes events in Hungary, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, China, Japan and Macau up until the end of the year for the super finale in Malaysia.
In addition, CUPRA is going to be present in no less than 160 races planned this season in different world, continental and national TCR championships and series. The brand has developed a racing strategy which combines bolstering the development of new-level combustion engines and paving the way towards electric racing competitions: "We are currently working on a new CUPRA TCR for 2020, but in the medium and long term electric propulsion is going to be our focus. With the CUPRA e-Racer, the first 100% electric touring car, we have laid the technical foundations of the future of the racing world”, stated Jaime Puig, Director & Head of CUPRA Racing.
CUPRA currently has two racing cars prepared for the demands of present and future championships. On one hand, the Leon CUPRA TCR with 350HP of power and a maximum speed of 267 km/h is a real blast on the asphalt. On the other hand, the CUPRA e-Racer, the world’s first 100% electric tourning car, is a true motorsport car, delivering 300 kW of continuous power and up to 500 kW (680 PS) at its peak. The e-Racer can reach a top speed of 270 km/h, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in only 3.2 seconds, and from 0 to 200 km/h in only 8.2 seconds.
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