Double DTM champion Timo Scheider will replace James Thompson in the third of Münnich Motorsport’s Hondas in the final four events of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR).
Scheider will partner Yann Ehrlacher and Esteban Guerrieri in the ALL-INKL.COM team, making his début at the top level of FIA touring cars.
Thompson had only ever had a deal to compete in the opening six events of this year’s WTCR, with the Brit not originally being in Münnich Motorsport’s plans for the full season.
39-year-old Scheider became a household name in the DTM between 2000 and 2016, initially with Opel before switching to Audi in 2006. He secured two titles in 2008 and 2009 and took seven outright victories before leaving the series after the 2016 season.
Since then Scheider has competed in the FIA World Rallycross championship, including a full season in 2017, and become a works BMW GT driver.
Münnich Motorsport Team Manager Dominik Greiner says Scheider has been brought into the team to help bolster the challenge for the drivers’ title with Ehrlacher.
“We’ve brought Timo into our team for the last four rounds of the championship, as we believe he’ll really bolster our challenge for the FIA World Touring Car Cup title,” said Greiner.
“He has tremendous experience in touring cars. The main focus for him is the season finale in Macau, so the next three rounds in China and Japan will be more about preparation, as he won’t be able to test the car beforehand as they’re already in transit to Ningbo in China.
“We’ve worked well together in rallycross, and it seemed a natural choice as well as a perfect fit to bring him into our touring car team as we fight to win the first WTCR – World Touring Car Cup title with Yann and Esteban.”
Scheider is looking forward to taking on a new challenge in the environment of a team he already knows, having competed with Münnich Motorsport in rallycross.
“It will be a hard challenge for me to join the championship in the middle of the year without any experience,” said Scheider. “But due to the fact that I like new challenges I will give it all to get it done as good as possible.
“I have no experience of any of the tracks, unfortunately, but I will be supporting my team, having fun, making my first experience with a front-wheel-driven car and finally making my debut in Macau.”
Eurosports Events Head François Ribeiro is looking forward to having another top-level driver join the grid, with Scheider being the second recent DTM driver to race in WTCR this season.
“We are delighted to welcome a driver with such strong pedigree in touring cars, which will only increase the level of competition and prospect of more great racing,” said Ribeiro.
“It was great to get René Rast as a wildcard for WTCR Race of Germany, and now we look forward to welcome Timo to our WTCR Asian tour.”