Finnish racer Antti Buri will join the grid of the FIA World Touring Car Cup for this month’s races on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, entering at the wheel of an Audi RS3 LMS run by his own team.
Buri is the current leader of the ADAC TCR Germany series, after securing his third win of the season last weekend at the Red Bull Ring.
The 30-year-old has competed regularly in the German TCR series since 2016, and he is the second most successful driver in the series’ history in terms of race wins.
Buri will race an Audi, as he has done for the past three seasons, for the new AS Motorsport team which he has helped to establish.
“The FIA World Touring Car Cup presented has always been a big goal for me,” said Buri, who becomes the first Finnish driver to enter WTCR. “I’ve been racing in ADAC TCR Germany since 2016, I’ve been racing TCR cars on an international level in the 24H Series and as the opportunity came to step up to world level, I grabbed it now with the wildcard entry.”
Buri is not concerned about having to carry an additional 20 kg of weight compared to his full-season rivals for being a wildcard entry.
“These are the rules, and they are the same for every wildcard, so no excuses. Obviously, extra weight doesn’t help us, but my knowledge of the track should be good as I have done two 24-hour races on the Nordschleife.
“Last year, together with my team-mates, I won the TCR class of the Nürburgring 24 Hours. But endurance racing is not sprint racing.
“Also, I have never raced the Audi RS3 LMS on the Nordschleife. But generally speaking, I know the car very well; it has been my race car in ADAC TCR Germany since 2017, and I have clinched three wins with it in the first three rounds this year already.
“There can’t be any doubt about the level of the #WTCR2019SUPERGRID with so many world champions and winners of other top categories.
“I’ve closely followed the WTCR on television and on the internet, so I know how close the racing is and how small the gaps are. If you are a little bit off the pace, you’re way back.
“We will be quite satisfied if we are in the top 10, which is my personal goal. But honestly, it’s simply great to be part of this for one weekend. I’m sure I’ll enjoy every second of it.”
Buri says that racing an Audi has long been a part of his family history, with his father having competed in Audi machinery previously in typical Finish style.
“Racing an Audi is a tradition and a family affair for us as my father, Risto, rallied an Audi 200 quattro in the 1980s, so it’s great to be part of the next generation to continue with the four rings.
“I will be the first driver to fly the Finnish flag in WTCR. As I am a big fan of touring cars, you can imagine that it makes me proud to carry the Finnish colours on the grid.”