WTCC entry expands with de Souza return
Filipe de Souza will return to the FIA World Touring Car Championship for the upcoming races in China and Japan, increasing the highly competitive entry in the process.
De Souza made his WTCC debut in 2011 and was a regular at the end-of-season Asia races. He’s yet to sample a top-of-the-range TC1 World Touring Car, introduced in 2014, although that will change when he joins RC Motorsport for WTCC Race of China (13-15 October) and WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan (27-29 October).
“In my racing career I always like challenges and higher-level competition,” said Macau-born de Souza. “This is my aim and I’ve always believed my path belongs to the WTCC and to be part of the WTCC family. I’m racing for my dreams and for my country.”
De Souza’s first experience of TC1 power will be in Free Practice 1 at the all-new Ningbo International Speedpark on 14 October, not that he’s fazed by that prospect. “It’s going to be a bit tough for me since I have never driven at either track and the car will also be new but I will try my best. Like all drivers I want to fight for the highest position possible.”
Since his last appearance in the WTCC at Macau in 2014, de Souza has won the Champion of Macau Touring Car Series two years running and also achieved success in Touring Car Series in Asia, TCR Asia and TCR China. Backed by Sniper Capital, de Souza doesn’t want his WTCC comeback to be a one-off with further outings in the future part of his plan.
Francois Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the WTCC promoter, welcomed confirmation of de Souza's return to international touring car racing's top flight. “It’s great to have Filipe back in the WTCC and for RC Motorsport to have a third car on the grid. The 2017 WTCC season is very competitive so it will be a challenge for Filipe but he has the right attitude to take the most out of this opportunity.”
De Souza will partner Yann Ehrlacher and Kevin Gleason at RC Motorsport. Details of the team’s third driver for WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Macau will be announced in due course.