Three-time FIA World Champion, Andy Priaulx, will return to the world’s premier touring car series, the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), in 2019.
Having made his name in the competition back when it was branded as the WTCC, Priaulx won back-to-back drivers’ titles between 2005-2007 with BMW. Now though, the driver from the island of Guernsey will join forces with Chinese marque, Lynk & Co, as they attempt to expand into the international car market.
The Geely Group brand are certainly taking their first steps in world motorsport seriously, as Priaulx is set to be part of one of the highest-quality driver line-up’s on the 2019 grid. As previously reported, two of Priaulx’s team-mates have been announced as Yvan Muller and Thed Bjork – both of whom are also FIA World Touring Car Champions. In fact, there are eight FIA world Championship titles between the trio.
The identity of the fourth and final driver to compete for Cyan Racing with the new Lynk & Co has yet to be confirmed.
Indeed, the WTCR class of 2019 is expected to be full of top level names within the field of touring car racing. The announcement of Priaulx’s return has come after the news that Hyundai will be bringing Augusto Farfus and Nicky Catsburg back to the series too, to compete alongside the likes of Gabriele Tarquini and Norbert Michelisz. With the majority of teams still yet to confirm their plans for the 2019 season, the question now is how many more racing stars from across the globe can be attracted to the WTCR?
Francois Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, was full of praise for Andy Priaulx when news of the announcement broke. The chief promoter of the WTCR said: “Legend is [a] superlative perhaps used too often but it’s certainly appropriate when describing Andy Priaulx. The first FIA World Touring Car champion of the Eurosport Events era in 2005, Andy is not just a great performer on track but a great ambassador off it. We can’t wait to see him in action on what is set to be the highest quality and most competitive touring car grid ever.”
Christian Dahl, CEO of Cyan Racing, said: “Andy is a true touring car legend and his track record speaks for itself. His mix of experience and raw speed will be vital to us. We are glad to have him onboard for the 2019 WTCR season that looks to become one of the toughest ever.”
Finally, Andy Priaulx himself had his say on the challenges which lie ahead: “I’m delighted to become a Lynk & Co Cyan Racing driver and I have no doubt that we are in a strong position to fight for the overall title already in our first year. We have a tough job ahead of us, the competition is as tough as it has ever been in the WTCR. But I have followed Cyan Racing’s progress over the years and it was an easy decision for me to join them.”