Fresh from a narrow defeat to Gabriele Tarquini in the 2018 World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) title chase, Yvan Muller has confirmed that he’ll be back again next year to try and steal his Italian rival’s crown.
Having competed with a Hyundai throughout this year, Muller will no longer represent the South Korean brand next season. Instead, the Frenchman shall link up with Cyan Racing, who intend to run a trio of Chinese saloon cars. The car in question is a Lynk & Co 03, engineered to TCR specification though of course, as the Lynk & Co brand embarks on a foray into the European car market.
Speaking after the 2018 WTCR finale in Macau, Muller said: “Apparently I am still fast and Gabriele doesn’t want me to retire so I will be with Lynk & Co for next year. I have been very happy working with Cyan Racing and to continue our journey in this new programme with Lynk & Co is ideal. We will continue to push hard for the World title in 2019.”
The transition shouldn’t be too substantial though. Despite competing for his own team under the ‘YMR’ banner this year, Cyan Racing offered plenty of assistance to Muller throughout his 2018 campaign. Plus, Muller has previously been the Cyan Racing chief test driver back in 2017. As such, he already has a good rapport with most of the Swedish outfit’s crew members.
As previously reported, Muller will partner Thed Bjork in two of the three Lynk & Co 03 TCRs, while the third and final driver to be announced by Cyan Racing is set to be revealed in due course. Speculation suggests that the third driver could be Muller’s nephew, Yann Ehrlacher, who raced in the WTCR this year for Munnich Motorsport. However, these rumours are as yet unconfirmed.
Cyan Racing CEO, Christian Dahl, was delighted to have announced Muller’s deal for 2019: “Yvan is a key part in our assault on the 2019 FIA WTCR and our cooperation with him and his team, Yvan Muller Racing, during 2018 has been invaluable. The programme has enabled us to make the necessary preparations in order to hit the ground running next year. To claim the teams’ title in 2018 fills us all with confidence for the challenges to come.”