The battle commences on the Nordschleife
Competitors of the 2021 WTCR face a serious committment from the very start, as the FIA World Touring Car Cup kicks off Saturday at the Nürburgring, on the tricky Nordschleife.
The TCR cars will run in two races of 3 laps each of the 25-km road course on the Eifel mountains, providing a juicy preamble to the ADAC 24H Rennen.
As usual WTCR’s timetable was adjusted to fit into the event, and so Free Practice are on Thursday, there is only one 40-minute Qualifying on Friday afternoon and the two races are back-to-back on Saturday morning.
Reigning champions Yann Ehrlacher and Lynk & Co Cyan Racing begin the season with the aim of retaining the Drivers’ and Teams’ titles, especially because the young Frenchman and the Chinese cars have proved in the previous years they are at ease on the German track. The Lyk & Co line-up is completed by former World Touring Car champions Yvan Muller and Thed Björk, plus young Uruguayan Santiago Urrutia.
Their strongest competitors are deemed to be the Honda Civic Type R cars of Argentine stars Esteban Guerrieri and Néstor Girolami that were very competitive in last year’s event. The other two Civic cars are driven by Tiago Monteiro and Attila Tassi.
The Hyundai brand that diserted the 2020 event at the Nürburgring returns with four new Elantra N models, two of them entrusted to former champions Gabriele Tarquini and Norbert Michelisz. Local hero Luca Engstler and Jean-Karl Vernay complete the quartet.
Zengő Motorsport has expanded its effort to four CUPRA Leon Competición cars, addingformer World Touring Car champion Rob Huff and experienced Spaniard Jordi Gené to Mikel Azcona and Bence Boldizs to form a fearsome quartet.
However, the eagerly-awaited feature of the event is the world debut of the new Audi RS 3 LMS model, with four cars run by Comtoyou Racing for Frédéric Vervisch and Nathanaël Berthon competing under the Audi Sport banner plus Tom Coronel and last year’s rookie champion Gilles Magnus.
Track time at the Nürburgring
- Thursday, 3 June – 14:30, Free Practice 1 (40 minutes)
- Thursday, 3 June – 19:00, Free Practice 2 (40 minutes)
- Friday, 4 June – 14:05, Qualifying (40 minutes)
- Saturday, 5 June – 09:00, Race 1 (3 laps)
- Saturday, 5 June – 10:20, Race 2 (3 laps)
- All time local: CEST