Italian Marco Butti will join the TCR Europe grid from the third event of the year at Spa-Francorchamps, racing an Audi RS3 LMS entered by Élite Motorsport.
Butti, 17, made his TCR début last year when he contested the full season of TCR Italy in a Volkswagen Golf GTi.
The youngster was 15th overall in the drivers’ championship, scoring a best result of eighth in the season finale in his ageing car.
He made a one-off appearance in the series again in 2022 at Imola, racing a Hyundai i30 N, but was only 25th in race one before retiring from the second race.
“It’s a dream that comes true, I can’t wait to be in Belgium,” said Butti. “TCR Europe is the most challenging adventure I face since I’m a racing driver, an epic chance made possible by S4 Energia and Élite Motorsport.
“The level of the series is very high, and this gives me the right attitude to push more and more. I have a lot to learn, and I have to find the right feeling with the new RS3 gen II, but I have the best technicians on my side to grow faster as I can.”
Butti is also racing in the Italian GT Championship this year, also in Audi machinery, where he is behind the wheel of an R8 LMS Evo II.
“I’m proud to represent a brand like Audi both in Italian GT Championship and TCR Europe this year, I hope to repay all the companies who support my career with good results on track.”
Team Principal Nicola Novaglio is expecting Butti to prove to be a strong competitor in the car which was raced by Luis Cidade in the season opener in Portugal.
“We are very happy to have once again with us a very fast driver as Marco,” added Novaglio. “Last year, on his début, he astonished all the people with performance and consistency.
“I’m confident he will be soon protagonist also in the TCR Europe. Thanks to the support of our partners, as S4 Energia, we can give a so big opportunity to a very talented driver.”