The FIA World Touring Car Cup grid will feature a member of the Dutch royal family at the upcoming WTCR Race of Netherlands.

Forty-eight-year-old Prince Bernhard van Oranje has been confirmed as one of two wildcard entrants for the fourth round of the 2018 season, which takes place on 20-21 May at Circuit Zandvoort, which the prince owns.

His royal highness will drive a Bas Koeten Racing Audi RS 3 LMS, which will sport an all-orange livery to honour the Netherlands’ national racing colours.

“It is unique to participate in a World Cup event against eight former world champions,” he said. “It’s ultra-close racing and we have live coverage on TV and web throughout the event. With more than 100,000 fans it’s going to be a unique experience.”

The prince has been mentored by touring car veteran Tom Coronel.

“I’ve been giving some lessons to Bernhard,” said Coronel.

“The first time he was on a podium was with me in a long-distance race. A few years ago I promised he could drive my race car and I did that at the beginning of this season. I did 10 laps in my Honda Civic Type R TCR myself then I put him in the car. The team was quite surprised but I said ‘Don’t worry, he knows what he’s doing, he likes motor racing, he knows the track and has been a race driver for 15 years’. It’s a unique and cool thing for us to have him in our championship and I want him to enjoy the ride.”

Bas Koeten Racing has confirmed it will field the second eligible wildcard entry. The identity of its other driver will be revealed in due course.

Image via Audi Sport

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.