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Yann Ehrlacher wants to repay team for ‘risk’ in his signing

New World Touring Car Championship driver Yann Ehrlacher is aiming to repay his new team RC Motorsport for the ‘risk’ in signing him for the forthcoming season.

Ehrlacher will race an independent LADA Vesta for the new team, who are located at the same Magny-Cours unit that the factory team were previously based at.

It means that the LADA name will remain on the grid this year, even if there is no factory backing from the Russian manufacturer.

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However, the late deal means that Ehrlacher has had little time to get used to his new steed, even though he tested another TC1 car for a different brand beforehand.

“I tested a TC1 car with another manufacturer and it went quite well,” explained Ehrlacher. “Then the project with RC Motorsport came up. The team is based at Magny-Cours, they work with ORECA and I’ve worked a lot with them before.

“It was quite a hard decision from the team to take me because I have no experience of front-wheel drive and I don’t know any of the tracks. They have taken the risk and I have to prove to them that I can do it.”

The 20-year-old Frenchman is the nephew of four-time champion Yvan Muller, and the son of former single-seater racer Cathy Muller, and he will also use his uncle as an advisor in the coming season.

“I’ve followed Yvan’s racing since I was born, when he was in British Touring Cars. The spirit of the race and so on is something I’ve known for a long time, and my father was a professional football player in France so sport is something big in my family.

“I’m using Yvan as an advisor because he knows everything in racing and especially in front-wheel-drive [cars]. For sure, I will ask him if I have some questions but the thing is he is going to Volvo now, it’s a bit more difficult to have him with me because he’s not in my box and so on.

“But that’s also a good thing, because I have to do things on my own and it’s also better to improve myself in my career.”

Ehrlacher adds that with the deal coming together so late, he has had little time to mentally prepare himself for the coming season, let along learn the tracks and his competition.

“Because [my deal] has come together in one and a half weeks, it’s a small time to test, to know anything and there is a lot of new information for me to know.

“In previous years, I was ready in my head a bit earlier – maybe at the end of the previous year. But I will work and I will do it.”

The WTCC season kicks off in Morocco this weekend. No further details on the potential second RC Motorsport car have yet been revealed.

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