Couto and de Souza head list of six wildcard entries for Macau

by James Bowers
Couto-wildcard-WTCR

In addition to the 25 full-time entries that have been campaigning throughout 2018, a further six cars will take to the track as wildcards when the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) concludes at the Macau street circuit this weekend.

Arguably the biggest name amongst the six local drivers is Andre Couto. The Macanese stalwart has had plenty of success on his local streets in the past, and should be a high quality addition to the grid in his MacPro Racing Honda Civic FK8 TCR.

Filipe de Souza, who competed in selected rounds of last year’s World Touring Car Championship with RC Motorsport, will return to the top level of international touring car competition once again. This time, he’ll be behind the wheel of an Audi RS3 LMS TCR for Champ Motorsport, as will fellow local driver Lam Kam San.

Two other drivers will also be using Audi machinery. Kevin Tse, who has been competitive in various TCR series in the past, will drive for Teamwork Motorsport. Lo Kai Fung, meanwhile, will race under the TSRT Zuver Team banner.

The final of the six entries is Rui Valente, who will be behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR for the PCT-IXO Models Racing Team. 

In conversation with TouringCarTimes.com, Francois Ribeiro – head of Eurosport Events – spoke of his happiness at being able to welcome a larger number of local drivers to the grid at Macau than had been possible in previous years: “Although we always managed to welcome one or two drivers from Macau during the TC1 era, the cost and scarcity of the former WTCC cars did not make it easy for local drivers to join the Macau grid. Given the amount of TCR cars running in Asia, the scenario is now very different from the TC1 regulations. We have received around 20 enquiries from local drivers but we obviously could not accommodate them all.”

Ribeiro was also keen to ensure that the wildcard drivers invited to the event were of a high enough quality to be able to challenge the world cup regulars: “As well as counting as the Guia Race, WTCR Race of Macau is the deciding event of the 2018 season with prestigious FIA titles up for grabs. We have therefore worked closely with the FIA, the Macau ASN and the TCR China promoter to ensure the drivers handed wildcard status are ready for the high-level competition they will face, and will be capable of qualifying within the lowered 105 per cent limit. With 31 cars on the grid, the Macau finale promises to be a great spectacle with all the action live on television around the world.”

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