Wiechers-Sport have announced that Swiss driver Urs Sonderegger will race for the team in the 2011 World Touring Car Championship season.
The 46-year-old has raced in SEAT one-make cups in recent years, including the SEAT Leon Eurocup that supported the WTCC. He will race a BMW 320 TC for the German Wiechers team, powered by the new 1.6 litre engine.
Sonderegger will not make his WTCC debut at the season opener in Curitiba, Brazil. Instead the team will conduct a test with the new car in Europe. Wiechers and Sonderegger will then race at the second round of the season at Zolder.
He will race for the team through to the Oschersleben round at the end of July. For the races at Valencia, Suzuka and Guangdong the Wiechers car will be driven by a new driver, whose name will be announced at a later date.
“I'm really looking forward to this new season,” said Sonderegger. “As a newcomer I am completely happy that I can compete in the WTCC with the best touring car drivers in the world. As a rookie I will certainly have to learn the hard way, but will also give my optimum, to quickly grasp the WTCC. I am convinced that the Wiechers Sport team will give me the support to be competitive against the other WTCC drivers.”
Team Owner Wolfgang Kruse added: “An exciting season with a competitive car will require all of us. We are looking forward to the first tests with Urs and are sure that we will have a successful and enjoyable season with him.”
Team Manager Dominik Greiner commented: “We are looking forward to the 2011 season together with Urs. The entire team is highly motivated and can hardly wait for the start to our season in Zolder. Before we go to Zolder we will test with Urs, so that he can switch from the SEAT to the new BMW 320 TC in the best possible way. Urs will contest seven races for us this season, to get a taste of the world championship. Urs sees this season as a learning period, competing with the best touring car drivers in the world. Participation in the entire 2012 WTCC season is not impossible.”
Technical Director Thomas Schiemann said: “We are currently building the BMW for the latest regulations. Shortly we will organise the first tests with Urs. At 46 years-of-age Urs is an experienced racer who is also very capable of learning. He brings experience of the turbo SEAT, which will serve him well with the BMW.”