Argentine fans will have two drivers to cheer on at the forthcoming FIA World Touring Car Championship round at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo in August with the news that local driver Esteban Guerrieri will make his series debut for Campos Racing.
The 31-year-old currently races for Toyota Team Argentina in the Super TC 2000 championship and comes with a wealth of open-wheel racing experience from Indy Lights, Formula Renault 3.5 and Formula Renault 2.0.
The news was a welcome headline for series promoter François Ribeiro in the wake of the news that two-time WTCC title-winner José María López will leave the series to race in the FIA Formula E Championship.
“Esteban’s background is in single-seaters and front-wheel-drive touring cars,” Ribeiro said. “He has the right background to handle a TC1 racer. The level of the WTCC has been raised significantly since Pechito’s debut in 2013 and it will be interesting to watch Esteban’s progress over the race weekend.”
Guerrieri will be loftily aiming to mirror the efforts of his championship-winning countryman, who scored a shock WTCC win on debut on a one-off outing at Termas de Río Hondo as a privateer in 2013 before earning a factory Citroën drive the following year.
It was the launchpad for a record-breaking WTCC career for López, who swept to back-to-back titles in 2014-15 and looks on course to claim a hat-trick before bowing out of the series.
“It’s a great opportunity and to be part of an FIA World Championship is not something that happens every day,” Guerrieri added.
“I am very enthusiastic to have the chance to compete against the best. Many times in my career in Europe I had to jump into cars I never tested before and went straight to race weekends, and performed very well. These situations empower me even more. ‘Pechito’ [López] has done an incredible job since he landed in the WTCC. He showed his great talent and set the benchmark for everybody else. It is a positive to have a countryman performing like this, it can open doors for more Latin American drivers to come to the WTCC.”
The Race of Argentina takes place on the weekend of August 6-7.
|WHO IS ESTEBAN GUERRIERI?|
|Full Name||Esteban Guerrieri|
|Born||19 January 1985, Buenos Aires (ARG)|
|2000||Formula Renault Argentina, 1st overall|
|2002||Formula Renault 2000 Germany, Jenzer Motorsport, 14 races, 4 wins, 6 podiums, 3rd overall|
|2003||Formula Renault 2.0 Italia, Cram Competition, 12 races, 4 wins, 7 podiums, 2nd overall
Formula Renault 2000 Masters, Cram Competition, 8 races, 3 wins, 4 podiums, 1st overall
|2004||International F3000, BCN Competición, 10 races, 1 podium, 7th overall|
|2008||Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Ultimate Signature, 12 races, 1 win, 2 podiums, 8th overall|
|2010||Formula Renault 3.5 Series, ISR Racing, 14 races, 6 wins, 8 podiums, 3rd overall|
|2011||Firestone Indy Lights, Sam Schmidt Motorsports, 14 races, 3 wins, 6 podiums, 2nd overall|
|2012||Firestone Indy Lights, Sam Schmidt Motorsports, 12 races, 3 wins, 9 podiums, 2nd overall|
Images via Motorsport.com