World Touring Car Championship returnee Pepe Oriola has earned himself an upgrade for this weekend’s season finale on the streets of Macau.
The Spanish racer was originally destined to pilot Campos Racing’s spare SEAT León WTCC in the TC2T class, but will now join Frenchman Hugo Valente in the team’s pair of TC1 class Chevrolets.
The change in cars is due to a hand injury suffered by regular TC1 class driver Dušan Borković, who suffered the injury on the weekend of the recent Japanese round at Suzuka – the Serbian driver struggled to through the weekend but drove outstandingly in Race 2 to claim his maiden podium finish.
Oriola himself hasn’t raced since last year’s WTCC round at Macau, where a positive 2013 campaign – which included a win on the streets of Marrakech – was soured by wild driving at the curtain-closing event where he fired Tom Chilton and James Thompson into the barriers in separate collisions.
This year has seen Oriola serve as a driver coach to Campos’ two FIA European Touring Car Cup racers, Nikolay Karamyshev and Igor Skuz, as well as to his younger brother, Jordi, who races in the single-make SEAT León Eurocup.
“I’m very excited for the two races in Macau. I want to do it well, although I’m aware that I’m not (on equal terms) as the rest of the drivers who have done all of the championship. My goal is to get a good result at home of my sponsor Cali Group Macau and I appreciate the opportunity that Campos Racing is giving to me in this important meeting,” Oriola said of his promotion.
Oriola’s place in the SEAT León he was due to race will go to Hong Kong driver Henry Kwong, who drove for the team at the recent rounds at Shanghai and Suzuka; he will partner William Lok and John Filippi in the team’s other two TC2T class SEATs.
Image via XPB Images