Stefano D’Aste will return to the FIA World Touring Car Championship grid after a one-year absence, having signed a deal to race for the Münnich Motorsport squad.
The Italian will reunite with team manager Dominik Greiner, with whom he worked during his time as a driver in the Weichers-Sport team in 2011-2012, during which time he claimed two wins and two further pole positions in his BMW 320TC.
The Genoa-born driver will pilot one of the team’s two Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 specification cars, taking over from owner/driver René Münnich who will focus primarily on the FIA RallyCross Championship this year. It will be the first time that D’Aste – a driver known for his very oversteer-style driving – will race a front-wheel-drive car after nine seasons of racing BMWs in the WTCC.
The identity of D’Aste’s teammate – who would take over the car driven by former F1 driver Gianni Morbidelli last year – is still to be confirmed, although the team is not expected to run a two-car programme until later in the year.
D’Aste’s deal is only for the first eight rounds of the championship, with the final four flyaway events clashing with his pre-existing GT racing commitments in Italy with his own PB Racing team.
“We are pleased to have Stefano with us as driver in the team and I am excited to see how he is going to progress. We have currently Stefano confirmed for the first eight WTCC weekends while there is a overlap with his own racing project for the last four weekends. But we are working on finding a solution together,” Münnich said.
Images via XPB Images