Honda Civic Type R TCR continues #WTCR challenge in China

Honda’s customer racing teams continue their push for success in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup this weekend at the Ningbo International Speedpark in China.

After a 10-week summer break, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport maintain their chase for the Teams’ Championship while drivers Yann Ehrlacher and Esteban Guerrieri aim to add to the three wins and six podiums they’ve recorded in 2018.

Frenchman Yann, who was victorious in Hungary and Netherlands, lies fourth in the points table and wants to build on an impressive season and close in on the series leaders at a circuit where he finished second in the WTCC last year.

Team-mate Esteban was victorious at Ningbo in 2017 as World Touring Cars debuted at the 4.0km circuit. With a strong summer behind him competing in several events in the Honda NSX GT3, he is targeting an improvement on his current eighth spot in the Drivers’ Championship.

After running just two cars in Slovakia, Münnich return to a three-car line-up in China with two-time DTM champion and multiple Spa and Nurburgring 24 Hours winner Timo Scheider arriving to strengthen the team. Scheider, 39, makes his front-wheel-drive debut in China.

Just like Münnich, the Belgian Boutsen Ginion Racing team also make a driver change for Ningbo as Chinese star Ma Qing Hua prepares for his WTCR debut in place of Benjamin Lessennes.

The 30-year-old from Shanghai finished fourth in the WTCC in 2015 and has two race wins, eight podiums and three fastest laps from his time in the series, as well as stints as a Formula 1 Test and Reserve Driver and a Formula E racer under his belt.

Both Lessennes and Tiago Monteiro – who continues to push for a return to racing in 2018 after a year out through injury – will attend the Ningbo meeting.

Fellow Boutsen Ginion driver Tom Coronel was a double points-scorer at Ningbo last year on a weekend badly affected by heavy rain during qualifying and both races.

Yann Ehrlacher 68

“I’m feeling really pumped for the rest of the season, starting at Ningbo. It’s hard to know what to say about the circuit because we only had about 20 minutes of dry track last year and that was spent trying to familiarise myself with the layout rather than really attacking, but if we have a strong car from the beginning of FP1, I think we can challenge for the top positions all weekend and pull some points back on the championship lead.”
– ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport

Esteban Guerrieri 86

“It’s been a very big summer break, but I’ve kept busy racing the Honda NSX GT3 and getting some more experience in long-distance racing, so I feel good as we approach the Asian rounds of the WTCR. I won at Ningbo last year so I will try and use that experience to my advantage. My aim for the rest of the season is to win as many races as I can and help Münnich to try and win the Teams’ Championship.”
– ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport

Timo Scheider 42

“I’m hugely excited about my WTCR debut, although I know it will be a huge challenge. This will be my first time racing a front-wheel-drive car and my first time at Ningbo, so I know it will be a steep learning curve. One advantage I have is that I know the team because I have competed with them in World Rallycross, so I know the way they work and this should help me get up to speed in the Honda more quickly.”
– ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport

Tom Coronel 9

“It’s been a long gap since the last race in Slovakia and I’m happy to get back onto a racetrack. In the last two events in Portugal and Slovakia we went fastest in practice and then had our best weekend of the year for points, so there are some really encouraging signs for how we’re working together as a team and moving further towards where we want to be. I scored points in all the races at Ningbo last year and we’ll push hard to get the Honda as far up the finishing order as we can. It would be very nice to have some good weather this time too…”
– Boutsen Ginion Racing

Qing Hua Ma 55

“I am very happy to return to World Touring Cars to race the Honda Civic Type R TCR. It’s nearly one year since I raced in the WTCC at Macau and I am looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of a touring car that is a proven winner in the WTCR. It is an honour to represent my home country in two race weekends in China, and I look forward to racing against some familiar rivals from my last time in the series. I am new the circuit and the car, so I am very aware that this will be a big challenge, but we’ll take things step-by-step as we aim to score the best result we can.”
– Boutsen Ginion Racing