A brand new WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup kicks off in Morocco this weekend with Honda’s customer racing teams eager to make a flying start with their Civic Type R TCRs.

Awaiting the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport and KCMG teams is a triple-header weekend on the narrow Moulay el Hassan circuit in Marrakech that features some of the most unforgiving concrete walls in touring-car racing.

Fresh from finishing third in the 2018 Teams’ Championship, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport boasts an all-Argentinian line-up of Esteban Guerrieri and Nestor Girolami.

Esteban, who won twice on his way to third place in last year’s Drivers’ standings, claimed his maiden victory in World Touring Car racing on the semi-permanent circuit in 2017 and finished sixth last year on his debut in the Civic Type R TCR.

New team-mate ‘Bebu’ stunned the regulars by qualifying on the front row and finishing third in Morocco in 2017 on his circuit debut. The two-time champion of Argentina’s leading race series – Super TC2000 – is aiming for even more this time.

KCMG compete in the WTCR full-time in 2019; making them the first Asian team to do so. The Hong Kong-based outfit made two wildcard appearances last year, but now has long-time Honda Racing family member Tiago Monteiro and Attila Tassi in its line-up.

Tiago, who won the WTCC Main Race from pole position on his last appearance in Morocco in 2017, sustained injuries later that year while on top of the points table that would not only deny him the world title, but also rule him out for most of last season too.

Now making a full-time comeback with the Civic Type R TCR, the Portuguese driver is determined to show he has lost none of his speed or racecraft.

His new team-mate Attila is the WTCR’s youngest driver at just 19. While he has never raced at the Marrakech circuit, he has shown prodigious speed so far in his touring-car career and was most significantly runner-up in the TCR International Series in 2017.

A number of new rules have been introduced for WTCR 2019; primarily a new scoring system that rewards the top 15 finishers plus standardised points across all races and qualifying bonuses now awarded to the top-five in both sessions.

Teams are limited to two cars each with no brand allowed more than four full-time entries while opening practice has been increased to 45 minutes and will generally be held on the first day of each meeting.

Esteban Guerrieri

Esteban Guerrieri 86

“I’m looking forward to my second season with the Civic Type R TCR. Having continuity of team will definitely be a help as we aim for the title. Marrakech is an interesting place to start the season and one where qualifying well is of critical importance because it’s so hard to overtake. Last year, my team-mate just missed the podium so we know the Civic should be strong, and in 2017 I scored my first WTCC win there. Testing has been good, even if we don’t really know how much the other teams were holding back in Barcelona, so let’s see where we are come qualifying.”

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Nestor Girolami

Nestor Girolami 29

“I’m excited to start the season with my new team and the Honda Civic Type R TCR. Testing has gone pretty well and I’ve enjoyed having my old friend Esteban as my team-mate. Marrakech is a place that has a very happy memory for me because it’s where I got my first World Touring Car podium in 2017. The circuit hasn’t changed since then so I’ll try and use my experience to finish as well as I possibly can. What can we achieve? I don’t know, but I’ll give it everything I have.”

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Tiago Monteiro

Tiago Monteiro 18

“I’m so excited about this weekend, which really closes a tough chapter in my life. All the work I’ve done with my doctors and trainers in the past two years has been for this and I can’t wait. We’ve worked extremely hard this winter within the KCMG team and whatever happens in Morocco, I know there’s not much more we could have done to prepare. Marrakech is a track where I’ve won before so I know how to get the best out of a car there. I started my race season on the Nordschleife two weeks ago and now I’m straight into a street track, so it’s not an easy way to get back in to racing, but I’ve never been afraid of a challenge.”

Attila Tassi

Attila Tassi 9

“To be coming to Morocco as a Honda Racing driver is a dream come true and it’s an opportunity that I intend to make the very best of. I’ve raced the Civic Type R TCR for the past year in TCR Europe and having the knowledge of the car in both qualifying and race situations will be a big help as many of the circuits – including Marrakech – are new to me. I really don’t know what this weekend will bring, but I feel comfortable with the car and I think that Tiago and I will be able to push hard from the start of the weekend to score some good results for KCMG.”

WTCR Race of Morocco

Circuit International Automobile Moulay el Hassan, Morocco

WTCR 2019, Round 1