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.