CUPRA Racing has confirmed that Mikel Azcona and Jordi Gené will race two of its CUPRA Leon Competición cars in this year’s FIA World Touring Car Cup, with Zengő Motorsport running the cars.
CUPRA has opted for a combination of youth and experience in this year’s WTCR, with 24-year-old Azcona joined by veteran CUPRA and SEAT development driver Gené, 50.
Azcona, the 2018 TCR Europe champion, has raced in WTCR for the past two seasons, initially with PWR Racing before moving to Zengő Motorsport last year to race the new CUPRA Leon Competición car.
The Spaniard won in his first season in WTCR, and then again last year with Zengő, standing on the top step at Aragón in Spain. Azcona was also a guest driver in TCR Europe when he won three races in a row at spa-Francorchamps and Jarama.
Gené has not contested a full season of racing since the inaugural TCR International Series in 2015, whilst he has not raced in World Touring Cars for over a decade, his last season being in the 2010 WTCC.
Having started his career in single seaters, Gené moved into touring car racing full-time in 1995 and working his way up to the European Touring Car Championship for 2002, after which time he was a fixture at the top level until 2010.
Both drivers will combine their campaigns with a season in the new all-electric PURE ETCR series, whilst Azcona will also race in TCR Europe with Volcano Motorsport.
“I’m very happy to continue racing for another season with CUPRA in the WTCR,” said Azcona. “After two years in the highest level of touring car racing with victories, my goal this year is to fight for the world title.
“I’m convinced that racing next to such an experienced driver as Jordi will be the best formula to be competitive and to get the best performance out of the CUPRA Leon Competición, a model perfectly suited to this series.”
Gené is looking forward to returning to racing for a full season in World Touring Cars.
“I’m very excited to be back racing with CUPRA and alongside a driver as skilled as Mikel,” said Gené.
“I’ve been involved in the development of the CUPRA Leon Competición, so I know what this model is capable of. It’s going to be an exciting season.”
Zengő Motorsport will confirm its remaining two drivers in due course. Team Principal Zoltán Zengő is hoping that having such a strong driver line-up already announced will allow the Hungarian team to fight for the overall title.
“We are very happy to keep working with CUPRA Racing and continue the progress we started making in 2020,” said Zengő. “It’s a very good feeling that a second CUPRA factory driver in Jordi Gené is joining our team to race alongside Mikel Azcona.
“He has very good experience and is very fast and we believe he will be able to help a lot the team and Mikel as well.
“We want to win the WTCR titles for Drivers and Teams and we will do everything possible as Zengő Motorsport to achieve this success.
“Over the next few weeks, we will announce the details of the two other Zengő drivers for 2021.”
CUPRA Director of Strategy, Antonino Labate, believes that Azcona’s youth and Gené’s experience is the ideal combination.
“At CUPRA we’re convinced that youth and experience are the perfect combination to achieve our goals,” added Labate.
“Jordi Gené has a wealth of knowledge in the world of touring car racing, and Mikel is part of the next generation of young talent looking to be the driving force behind the transformation.
“In 2021, CUPRA will be present in 70 races planned for this season in world, continental and national TCR series and championships.
“Meanwhile, we’re continuing our electrification strategy with our participation in Extreme E and PURE ETCR, where Jordi and Mikel will also compete together.”