Gianni Morbidelli joins WestCoast Racing’s TCR line-up

Publicerad 2 mars 2015, 12.28 av WestCoast Racing.

Gianni Morbidelli has signed to race under the WestCoast Racing banner in 2015, as the Swedish team steps up to the global stage for the much-anticipated maiden season of the TCR International Series.
WestCoast Racing will run a trio of Honda Civics, built and developed by JAS Motorsport to the new TCR technical regulations, with American racer Kevin Gleason and Morbidelli confirmed for two of the seats.

Morbidelli spent his early career working his way up the single-seater ranks and won Formula 3 titles in Europe and his native Italy in 1989 prior to reaching the heady heights of Formula 1.

The Italian ace had spells with the Minardi, Arrows and Jordan F1 teams, and held a role as Ferrari’s official test and reserve driver during the Nineties, before dovetailing his F1 commitments with campaigns in many of the world’s most prestigious ‘tin-top’ series.

Seasons spent in Italian Superturismo, British Touring Cars, the FIA European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) and, most recently, the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) were interspersed with title successes in the Italian and International Superstars Championships and the Speedcar Series, and Morbidelli is brimming with confidence and enthusiasm ahead of his forthcoming season with WestCoast Racing, believing he has a very real shot of expanding his already impressive trophy collection.

“I am genuinely excited about joining WestCoast Racing and I will use all of my experience to do the best job possible,” said Morbidelli. “My first impressions of the team, the Honda Civic TCR and the TCR International Series are very good and I’m ready for a new challenge. Everything is new so we’re all starting from zero and, while the car is still in the early stages of development, I believe WestCoast Racing has the ability and the determination to succeed, having met them and tested at Barcelona and Vallelunga. I’m sure they will do a fantastic job.

“I expect the TCR International Series to be very exciting and, as it’s such an interesting concept, I’m sure it will grow. From my point of view, I see it being the future of touring car racing, not only in Europe, but globally, so it is an honour to be involved from the very beginning. On the whole, I feel very optimistic and I would like to thank WestCoast Racing and Greger Petersson for the opportunity to collaborate. I have a good feeling – I’m confident and feel I understand the team’s mentality, so I believe we can hit the ground running.”

WestCoast Racing is a stalwart of the respected Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC) and has established itself as a force to be reckoned, having notched up no fewer than five Drivers’ and two Teams’ titles over the course of two decades in the STCC, as well as other successes in the Porsche Carrera Cup, Swedish GTs and ADAC GT Masters in Germany.

However, the Halmstad outfit’s ascent up the motorsport ladder continues and it now has the intention of conquering international motorsport, firstly by fielding a three-car entry in the 2015 TCR International Series – a newly-derived touring car racing concept, designed to be marketable, profitable and spectacular, while keeping a tight grip on costs.

Greger Petersson, Team Principal of WestCoast Racing/Sportpromotion, said: ”We are very happy to welcome Gianni Morbidelli to the team for the very first TCR International Series campaign. He is a very well-known and established driver with lots of experience and success in international racing, achieved over many years. I have no doubt that Gianni’s involvement will boost the team as it takes on really stiff opposition from many established teams and drivers in this thrilling new championship.”

James Nixon, Team Manager of WestCoast Racing, concluded: “In WestCoast Racing’s first year in the TCR International Series, securing a driver of Gianni Morbidelli’s calibre is a very proud moment. By being able to announce such a driver shows the team’s intentions for this championship. Together, we are aiming high.”

The 2015 TCR International Series is due to commence at the Sepang International Circuit as part of the illustrious support package for the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix (29 March) and will tour many of the world’s greatest motorsport venues in Europe, South America and Asia.

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