Luca Filippi has been confirmed as a wildcard entry for this weekend’s FIA World Touring Car Cup races at Zolder in Belgium, joining Team Mulsanne in an Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
Filippi, 35, will line-up alongside full-season entrant Jean-Karl Vernay in a second Alfa at the Italian team, making his début in WTCR in the process.
The Italian first raced in a TCR series last year when he contested the full TCR Europe season with BRC Racing, ending the year 16th in the drivers’ standings with a best result of second at the Red Bull Ring.
Having previously spent much of his career racing in single seaters, including competing in Indy Lights, GP2, Formula E and Auto GP, Filippi is only a recent convert to touring car racing.
Although Filippi will be entered as a wildcard, his status is only such because the late nature of the agreement meant that it wasn’t possible to complete his registration ahead of the August 14 deadline for full-season entrants.
The wildcard status also means Filippi will have to carry an additional 20 kilograms of ballast as per the sporting regulations, whilst he will also be ineligible for points.
“I am very happy to be at the kick-off of the FIA WTCR in this 2020 season,” said Filippi. “It has been possible thanks to the support of great companies that I have the honour to represent and that I want to repay with my greatest determination and the best possible results in what is the top and most competitive touring car series.
“My first season with a front-wheel-drive car has left me with very good sensations and I am sure that the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris will be among the frontrunners.”
Romeo Ferraris Operations Manager Michela Cerruti added that it was particularly pleasing to her to put an Italian in the Italian car, alongside Frenchman Vernay.
“We gladly welcome Luca Filippi to the family,” said Cerruti. “I am happy to have an Italian driver at the wheel of our car in the FIA WTCR, and I am delighted that it will be Luca, whose career I have always been following with interest.
“To have two drivers with great experience and specific touring car know-how will be an added value in a championship with such a compressed calendar and which will require reactivity and flexibility.
“Luckily, we can benefit from the great support of the FIA WTCR promoter, Eurosport Events.”