M Racing will campaign two Hyundai i30 N TCR cars in the 2019 TCR Europe series, with Nelson Panciatici and Natan Bihel racing the cars which M Racing YMR used in the 2018 FIA World Touring Car Cup.
The cars were run by Justine Monnier’s team in last year’s WTCR on behalf of YMR. “We are pleased to join the TCR Europe series,” said Monnier. “Our team’s mission is to form young drivers and bring them to top-level competition, like we have done with Yann Ehrlacher and Thomas Laurent.
“We had experienced the WTCR in 2018 but have now chosen TCR Europe that is a more appropriate series for a young driver’s correct approach to the category.
“Nelson has some racing experience, but he’s a rookie in touring cars, as for Nathan he wished to give a different direction to his career after two seasons with prototypes.”
Panciatici, 30, has previously competed in sportscar racing and won two LMP2 titles in the European Le Mans Series in 2013 and 2014, whilst he was also an LMP2 class winner in the FIA world Endurance Championship.
“It is a big change, but I was looking for a new challenge and this opportunity makes me really happy,” said the son of rally driver Jacques. “I can’t wait to join the team and begin to discover the car. My goal is to be competitive, even if I know I have to learn facing a very competitive field.”
At 19, Bihel is much younger than his new team-mate and spent the past three seasons in cars competinig initially in the French Supertourisme series before moving into the European Le Mans Series in 2018.
“To join this programme is a great opportunity,” said Bihel. “It’s a bit like going back to the first steps of my career in Supertourisme.
“After a couple of seasons in LMP3 it won’t be easy to discover the front-wheel drive, but I can benefit from the team’s experience and will do my best to be quickly on the pace.”