Frenchman Eric Cayrolle will make his début in the FIA World Touring Car Cup when the season opener takes place on the streets of Pau in France next month.
Cayrolle, 59, will become the second oldest driver to contest a round of WTCR when he returns to World Touring Cars, 13 years after he made a one-off appearance in the World Touring Car Championship.
The Frenchman lives in Pau and will thus make a one-off entry at his home round. He will race an Audi RS3 LMS TCR entered under the banner of Élite Motorsport by Comtoyou.
In the late 1990s Cayrolle was a regular in the French Super Touring Championship, becoming champion three times from 1997 to 1999, before switching to European Touring Cars between 2001 and 2003 when he raced BMW machinery in 2001 and then Alfa Romeos in 2002 and 2003.
His focus then switched to GT racing thereafter, although he made a one-off WTCC appearance in 2009 in a SEAT León at his home circuit.
Ironically, he picked up a point in race two in 2009, and won the independent class, even though he crashed on the penultimate lap and caused the race to be red-flagged.
In recent years he has continued competing in GT races, albeit only in sporadic outings.
“I live in Pau, it’s my favourite circuit and it will be the 29th edition of this race for me,” said Cayrolle. “I did the FIA World Touring Car Championship race in Pau in 2009 and I have very good memories because I was the best privateer in the second race, which I won without passing the finishing line.
“I know the competition is very tough in WTCR and because I have not driven front-wheel drive for 20 years it will be hard and the car is not what I am used to.
“Everything will be difficult for me but I have set no target apart from to enjoy myself.
“I am just doing this race [as a wildcard] and I went to Vallelunga to test the car. I drove for about 50 laps so I have some understanding about the car and, of course, I know Pau. And as a circuit in a town you cannot make a mistake.”