Pepe Oriola will switch to racing a Hyundai Elantra N run by Aggressive Team Italia in this year’s TCR Europe campaign, after he briefly found himself without a drive following Brutal Fish Racing’s sudden withdrawal from the series.
Oriola had re-joined TCR Europe for this year, reuniting with Slovakian outfit Brutal Fish after a year in TCR South America.
But after a frustrating weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, Brutal Fish suddenly pulled the plug on its two-car TCR Europe campaign, leaving Oriola without a drive.
The Spaniard has quickly done a deal with Italian outfit Aggressive Team Italia, which has never previously run in the European series but has extensive experience in TCR Italy, where it currently runs Hyundai machinery for Kevin Ceccon, Team Principal Mauro Guastamacchia and Edoardo Cappello.
“It’s great to join Aggressive Team Italia and I want to thank Mauro Guastamacchia and the team for having confidence in me,” said Oriola, who is joint sixth in the drivers’ standings after two podium finishes from the six races held so far.
“This is a young outfit, but it has already proved its potential by achieving brilliant results in TCR Italy.
“We have quickly found an agreement and I’m happy to continue my participation in TCR Europe.
“Our goal is to fight consistently for the top-five positions, but also to set off together for a long and successful course.”
Team principal Mauro Guastamacchia added that his outfit had been hoping to run in TCR Europe in the future, after acquiring Hyundai Elantra cars from Sébastien Loeb Racing last year.
“We had planned to enter TCR Europe from next year, but as this opportunity arose, we decided to seize it,” said Guastamacchia.
“We are aware that it won’t be an easy task because Pepe has never driven the Elantra, and we haven’t worked with Kumho tyres before.
“On top of this we are also committed to run our TCR Italy programme and support Kevin Ceccon in his title bid.
“Our goal is to give Pepe a competitive car, so that he can aim for some brilliant results in the remaining races and at the same time we want to gain experience in view of a more important commitment for next year.”