Japanese driver Masataka Yanagida will make his World Touring Car Championship debut at his home race at Okayama. The 31-year-old will race the Wiechers Sport team's second BMW, alongside regular driver Mehdi Bennani.

Yanagida said: “I look forward to working with Wiechers Sport, because this team has an excellent reputation in the WTCC. In Okayama I will give my best for the team!”

Wiechers Sport team owner Wolfgang Kruse believes Yanagida will offer support to regular driver Bennani, as the team will be able to test more options in order to find the best setup.  Team manager Dominik Greiner added that Yanagida would be a strong guest driver for the team.

Yanagida is a regular competitor in the Japanese Super GT series, driving a Nissan in the GT300 category, which he won in 2003. He also finished second in the 2010 Dubai 24 Hours, driving a BMW Z4 M Coupe. His Wiechers Sport entry will be supported by Japanese brake manufacturer and Endless, a team partner whose presence has allowed the German outfit to run a local driver at the Japanese round of the series each year, having run Seiji Ara and Takayuki Aoki at the two previous races at Okayama.