The 2021 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season kicks off at the Nürburgring Nordschleife this weekend with the pair of Münnich Motorsport teams eager to start on a strong note with their Honda Civic Type R TCRs.
A double-header on the infamous 25.378-kilometre ‘Green Hell’, arguably the most demanding circuit in the world, is the first event of a planned eight-round, 16-race 2021 calendar which it is hoped will include a return to Asia.
Despite the exacting nature of the Nürburgring race weekend, the track is one at which all four Honda Racing drivers – who will represent the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport and ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport teams – have pedigree.
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport scored their best result in the WTCR Teams’ championship in 2020, finishing second, and for a third year in a row will field Esteban Guerrieri and Nestor Girolami.
Esteban had another strong season in 2020, taking the title fight to the penultimate race of the season and winning four times, including at the Nürburgring. That made the Argentinian the first driver to record multiple race victories at the track in the WTCR era, having also won in 2018, and he also backed up last year’s success with a class win in the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
Team-mate and compatriot Nestor made his own bit of Nordschleife history last year, recording the fastest ever TCR lap of the circuit in qualifying. His stunning pole effort of 8m51.802s, set in fading light, was more than a second faster than the second-best time.
A year earlier ‘Bebu’ was also involved in a daring side-by-side duel on the Döttinger Hohe from which he emerged on top to claim a podium finish.
ALL-INKL.DE meanwhile enter their second season in the WTCR, and also boast an unchanged line-up with Tiago Monteiro and Attila Tassi again paired.
Tiago – for whom 2021 will mark the 10th season in which he has been a Honda Racing driver – finished in the top 10 in both of last year’s WTCR races at the Nürburgring, but his crowning achievement came in the 24-hour race where, alongside Esteban, he guided a Civic Type R TCR to class honours – his second success in the car.
He will again dovetail his WTCR commitments with participation in the 24-hour race this weekend, with Nestor also among the four-driver line-up aiming to give the JAS Motorsport-built Civic Type R TCR its third-straight class success.
Already entering his third full-time campaign in the WTCR, 21-year-old Attila has been fast on his two previous visits to the Nürburgring. Having scored a fourth-place finish – the best result of his debut season – in 2019, he produced a composed and mature drive to score a podium in last year’s main race, which was held in treacherous conditions.