Honda’s customer racing teams and drivers will be out to build on successful starts to the 2020 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season as the campaign reaches its halfway point at the Slovakiaring this weekend.

After two very disparate tests to start the campaign, first at Zolder and then the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the Slovakiaring is another different prospect – with its blend of fast, flowing corners and pair of long straights rewarding a combination of good performance in a straight line and stability in high-speed turns.

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport and top scorer Nestor Girolami will start the weekend with points leads in sight, with both placed second in the respective Teams’ and Drivers’ Championship races.

‘Bebu’ can be buoyed by a record-setting WTCR pole lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife during the previous round, and has good memories of last year’s Slovakiaring visit – as he claimed what at the time was a third race win from five starts.

Esteban Guerrieri raced at the circuit for only the second time last year but scored a podium, finishing runner-up to his team-mate and Argentinian compatriot Nestor in race two.

The 2019 WTCR runner-up will make the trip to Slovakia on a high following a double success at the Nürburgring – having won both the opening WTCR contest in his regular ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, as well as the 24-hour race’s TCR class.

A solid Nürburgring weekend for the ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport crew elevated them to fifth in the Teams’ standings, though both Attila Tassi and Tiago Monteiro are eager to build on their Germany performances.

Attila enters off the back of his second podium from as many events at the start of the season, with a mature drive to third in race two in difficult conditions on the Nordschleife.

Both his race weekends so far have been hampered by incidents out of his control, however, and the 21-year-old – currently seventh in the points – will be looking for a clean run through the Slovakia weekend ahead of his home round at the Hungaroring the week after.

Tiago Monteiro overcame more qualifying difficulties last time out to score a brace of top-10 finishes, and was also part of the same Nürburgring 24 Hours class-winning crew as Esteban, guiding the Fugel Sport-run Civic Type R TCR home to victory in the final stint.

Though last year’s races were not kind to him, Tiago has pedigree at the Slovakiaring – winning in the World Touring Car Championship with the Honda Civic WTCC in 2016, in doing so becoming the first Portuguese driver to lead an FIA World Championship.

The Slovakiaring round marks the first three-race weekend of the shortened 2020 WTCR season, and the introduction of a new grid-setting process.

Not only will points be awarded to the top five cars in Q1 – as was the case at the Zolder season opener – but the result from this session will also set the grid for race one, placing an extra onus on the first part of qualifying.

Nestor Girolami

Nestor Girolami 29

"It’s been a great start of the season so far, with a victory at Zolder and a pole position at the Nürburgring, but we are only two rounds in and know we have to keep up this strong start to stay at the front of the title fight. We are working really hard, together with the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team, to get our maximum potential from the next two rounds as there are a lot of points on offer over the next two weeks. I have very good memories from Slovakia and Hungary last year, where we got victories at both tracks, so hopefully we can match similar results this year."

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Esteban Guerrieri

Esteban Guerrieri 86

"After the fantastic double success of the Nürburgring weekend, it was important to have a few days to enjoy that before preparing to hit the ground running in Slovakia. There’s the added importance from this weekend of getting Q1 right, as that will require some more risks to be taken. We need to have the car in the right window right from the start of qualifying to set us up for a strong weekend. Three races is a good opportunity for us to make up ground in the title chase, especially with the positive momentum of the weekend in Germany to build from."

ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Attila Tassi

Attila Tassi 9

"It’s been a good start to the season, and what's been most pleasing so far is showing that pace across two very different tracks. Last year this race wasn’t kind to me, but the fact we have started this year on a strong footing gives me confidence that we can continue the ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport team’s podium run. These are an important couple of weeks for me, first as we get to grips with a condensed three-race weekend which means we have to be on it from the very start of FP1, before attention turns to my home race a week later."

ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport
Tiago Monteiro

Tiago Monteiro 18

"It’s certainly been an intense start and not the one I was aiming for. I didn’t score the points I wanted to, nor was I able to show the potential we have. Now we have another big couple of weeks coming up with the only back-to-back race weekends of 2020, which are likely to play a big part in shaping our season. It's good to be back at tracks we are more familiar with, and we head to Slovakia ready to put the qualifying issues that were out of our control at the previous two rounds behind us and put together a strong weekend. Our pre-season testing preparation included work here back in August, so we have good recent experience at the track which should stand us in good stead."

ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport
WTCR Race of Slovakia

Slovakia Ring, Slovakia

WTCR 2020, Round 3