Benjamin Leuchter will be the fourth Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen driver in the 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), graduating from TCR Germany to join Rob Huff, Mehdi Bennani and Johan Kristoffersson in a Golf GTi.
31-year-old Leuchter made his début in TCR machinery in 2016, racing with the German Racing One team in TCR Germany, finishing fifth overall in his first season and the best-ranked Volkswagen driver.
The German only took part in two TCR races in 2017, racing in the TCR International Series with WestCoast Racing, before returning to TCR Germany in 2018 with Max Kruse Racing, ending the year eighth overall after three podiums – once again the best-ranked VW racer.
Now Leuchter will graduate to the top level of touring car racing as he is set to make his début on the world stage with his experienced team-mates by his side.
“The World Cup is a childhood dream come true for me,” said Leuchter. “I am delighted to be given the seat with Volkswagen in the WTCR and will give everything to represent the German colours in a worthy manner.
“I’m only familiar with two of the ten tracks on the calendar, but I’m a fast learner and will do my very best to be successful.
“I was involved in the development programme in 2015, and since then I have competed in numerous races and taken part in every winter test for further development.”
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets is hoping that Leuchter can help the German manufacturer to feature at the front of the WTCR field in the forthcoming season.
“I am delighted that we were able to get Benjamin Leuchter to move to the WTCR,” said Smeets. “Benny has been part of the Volkswagen family for years and was involved in the development of the Golf GTI TCR right from the start.
“His results speak for themselves and he did a fantastic job during the testing – both on the track and in collaboration with the engineers.
“We have lined up a strong international quartet of drivers for WTCR 2019 and it goes without saying that we want to be up there at the front of the pack with this team.”