WestCoast Racing has confirmed that it will switch to running Volkswagen Golf GTi cars in the 2017 TCR International Series, with Gianni Morbidelli and Giacomo Altoè as the team’s drivers.
Morbidelli remains with the Swedish team for a third consecutive season, after spending the first two years in TCR racing a Honda Civic TCR for the outfit.
Young Italian Giacomo Altoè joins the team, having previously made his TCR racing début with Top Run Motorsport in the TCR Middle East Series earlier in the month.
“I’m really happy and excited to do another season with WestCoast Racing,” said Morbidelli. “For this year, we have big expectations and the pressure that comes with that.
“We’re running a new car and we all have to get up to speed as soon as possible. I’m glad to be back, after two seasons I know the potential and the guys. Overall I’m looking forward to it!”
16-year-old Altoè will be embarking on his first full-season in touring car racing, and he hopes to be able to learn from his team-mate, who is 33 years his senior.
“The team has a lot of experience in Touring Cars,” added Altoè. “I really like the atmosphere in team, everyone is very professional and friendly, so I’m really happy to join WestCoast Racing. It’s a big change from the Middle East Series with the Volkswagen Golf but I really enjoy the TCR category and I’m looking forward to it.
“My goal for the season is to learn as much as possible. I know Gianni very well, he’s very experienced and I hope with him as a teammate in WestCoast we can make of my first year in Touring Cars a success!”
Team Principal Dick Jönsson Wigroth explained that the team decided to switch machinery in order to give them the best shot at taking the outright title.
“We decided the time was right to take the opportunity to make the switch to Volkswagen which took the Championship in 2016,” explained Jönsson wigroth. “We had a number of options and thought long and hard about which manufacturer would offer the best chance of a WestCoast Championship and chose the Volkswagen as we believe it offers the best overall package.”