Former F1 driver Gianni Morbidelli will complete an all-Italian line-up in the Romeo Ferraris squad’s entry in the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup season.
The 50-year-old, who started in 70 Grands Prix between 1990-1997 and scored one podium, will be teammate to touring car veteran Fabrizio Giovanardi.
Morbidelli himself is no stranger to success in touring cars. He won a hat-trick of Superstars Italia championship titles between 2007-9, claiming the double with the International Superstars in the last of those years. He repeated the feat in 2013, the final year of the Superstars championship.
Having previously raced in the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2006 with Alfa Romeo’s factory squad, he returned to the WTCC with the privateer Münnich Motorsport outfit in 2014. Racing a venerable RML Chevrolet Cruze (pictured below), Morbidelli claimed a reversed-grid race win at the Hungaroring and finished ninth overall in the championship standings.
Post-WTCC, he spent the past three years racing in the TCR International Series where he has consistently been a frontrunner, claiming six race wins and a further 13 podium finishes.
Morbidelli recently tested the Alfa Romeo Giulietta that will be entered by Romeo Ferraris in this year’s WTCR season at Monza earlier this month, before subsequently being confirmed in its line-up.
“I am happy and honoured to be back at the top level of world’s touring car racing, and to do it with an Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR by Romeo Ferraris, sporting the logo of such a prestigious brand,” Morbidelli said.
“It will be a championship with many great teams and drivers, and this makes the challenge even more exciting. I wish to thank Team Mulsanne [Romeo Ferraris’ parent company] for their trust and for giving me this great opportunity.”
Image via FIA WTCC Media and TCR International Media