Young German Luca Engstler will make his début in the FIA World Touring Car Cup next weekend in Slovakia after securing a wildcard entry with Team Engstler in a Hyundai i30 N TCR.
Engstler, who is currently competing for the full season in both the TCR Europe and TCR Asia series in 2019, already has significant TCR racing experience to his name.
The German, son of seasoned touring car racer Franz Engstler, made his début in touring cars in 2017 racing in the TCR Germany series, before competing full-time in both TCR Germany and TCR Asia in 2018, winning the latter title.
Engstler has already been busy in TCR in 2019, winning the TCR Malaysia title at the start of the year, before turning his focus to TCR Europe and TCR Asia.
“I’m more than happy and proud to race at the Slovakia Ring in the WTCR,” said Engstler. “Of course I am so happy to get this opportunity and I am really thankful for the support.
“To join an official FIA series at 19 years old is just amazing. There is a bit of pressure and I am already kind of nervous, but I try to take the positives and learn a lot.”
Engstler has no prior experience of racing at the Slovakiaring, and as he must also carry 20 kg of wildcard ballast, he is keeping his expectations in check for next weekend.
“My goal for sure is not to jump on the podium there, we have to be realistic, so my goal is to learn a lot and finish all races and just try to see and enjoy the WTCR weekend.
“With the 20 kilos we have as a wildcard, it is going to be even more tough, but I try to do my best. Learning a lot is the key for me.”
The 19-year-old will become the youngest driver on the grid in Slovakia. He took part in the WTCR-supporting TCR Europe races at the Hungaroring last weekend, finishing 18th in race one and 12th in race two, having started both races at the back due to a component failure-induced crash in qualifying.
Engstler has already won 13 races in TCR machinery to-date across TCR Asia, TCR Malaysia and TCR Germany.