John Filippi will race in the TCR Europe series in 2019 racing a Renault Mégane TCR for Vukovic Motorsport and moving to the regional competition after five years in World Touring Cars.
Filippi joined the World Touring Car Championship grid in 2014, initially competing in the TC2 class in a SEAT León before moving up to a TC1 Chevrolet Cruze in 2015 and 2016.
The Corsican then raced a Citroën C-Elysée in 2017, securing a best finish of fourth in the season finale in Qatar, before re-joining Campos Racing for the 2018 FIA World Touring Car Cup in a CUPRA.
The 24-year-old only took three top ten finishes last year, and in 2019 the Frenchman will take on a new challenge with the as-yet unproven Mégane in TCR Europe.
“I am so excited by this challenge,” said Filippi. “I am very proud to be part of this adventure. I drove the car late last year and to be honest, I immediately felt the potential of the car.
“I will use my experience of [five] years on the world level to compete in the TCR Europe, which is very competitive.
“It will be important to perform from the start of the season in order to reach my goals. The decision to sign in TCR Europe is for me the right step in my career.
As part of the project, Vukovic Motorsport, based in Switzerland, has signed Eric Nève as its new Team Manager for the coming season.
“My biggest challenge as team manager is to create the best working atmosphere possible,” said Nève. “We need to be ready on the technical and human side. We need to give the driver the best conditions to perform.
“John Filippi was a logical choice for us. We are very happy to have him in our team. His experience in the World Touring Car Championship and Cup will help us in order to achieve our goals.
“We want wins with the Mégane on the European stage.”
In 2018 the Mégane took part only in selected races in TCR Germany and also TCR UK, the latter with Alex Morgan. The car recently took part in the Balance of Performance [BoP] testing in Spain and 2019 will mark its first year of competing in anger in a major TCR championship.
“I’ve met John last year and I asked him to test the Megane,” explained Project Director Milenko Vukovic. “After his first test day, he was seduced by the car.
“John is an international driver, he’s very clear about his sensations behind the steering wheel. I wanted John in my team, and I am sure we will fight for good places in the championship.
“It’s an important challenge for us because we are officially the smallest customer of the championship.”