Swiss driver, Kris Richard, has been named as the second wildcard entry to compete at the Nurburgring Nordschleife during the third round of the 2018 World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) season. The news comes after it was revealed that reigning DTM champion, Rene Rast, would be the other wildcard contender in Germany.
With his eyes on the future, Richard is hoping to capitalise on the opportunity to compete at the top level of touring car racing, and hopes to do well enough to secure a full-time WTCR drive in 2019 or beyond.
Speaking at the time of the announcement, Richard said, “This opportunity is absolutely great, especially on this extraordinary track. This is absolutely my favourite race track.
“I already won there in the ETCC in a TCR car so it’s the perfect opportunity to show my skills to the public and my sponsors and prove I can manage to be in such a highly competitive field of drivers.
“My goal is absolutely to be in the WTCR full-time in 2019 so it could be the most important race of the year for me if I can prove what I can do.”
As he alluded to, Richard is certainly no stranger to success at the Nordschleife. En route to being crowned European Touring Car Cup champion in 2016, the 23 year-old picked up a race win at the infamous German circuit. Going into more detail about his love for the Nurburgring, Richard commented, “It’s my favourite race track because it’s not like any other track, it’s very long, you have a lot of corners, you have uphill sections and downhill sections, so many different challenges.
“It’s a really good track to show your strengths and how you can perform. I consider it to be my home track and Michael Schumacher was absolutely my favourite race driver. I always looked up to him and I really liked his driving style and what he did in the past.”
Francois Ribeiro, the Head of Eurosport Events, revealed that Richard was close to securing a deal to join the WTCR grid on a full-time basis this year. As a result, the championship organisers were keen to grant him this one-off opportunity to prove his worth to sponsors for next season.
Ribeiro explained, “We have followed Kris’s career since he won the ETCC title in 2016. He did two WTCC races last season, one as his prize drive for winning the ETCC and one because he managed to get the opportunity by finding some sponsorship.
“Kris won the ETCC round on the Nordscheife and is a very familiar face in VLN events. He came close to a full-season drive in the WTCR this season. The time was too short but we have no doubt what his aim is for next year so we hope that his wildcard entry at the Nürburgring, where he has good knowledge, will help his objective”
Although no details have emerged just yet, the team and car which Richard will be competing with are set to be announced in due course.