TCR Europe

M Racing confirm TCR Europe switch

2 Mins read
M Racing. Credit: Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI

M Racing have confirmed that they are switching to the 2019 TCR Europe Touring Car Series after competing in last season’s FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) running two Hyundai i30 N TCR’s for Yvan Muller Racing.

The team, led by Justine Monnier, have announced that they will run the two Hyundai’s in TCR Europe where the cars will be driven by Nelson Panciatici and Natan Bihel.

The team will join Target Competition, who are running Jessica and Andreas Backman in Hyundai’s and Comtoyou Racing, who will run Denis Dupont and Gilles Magnus as the current confirmed entries for this year. Monnier explained the move behind switching series for this year.

Thed Bjork and Yvan Muller drove the cars in WTCR last year that M Racing will use in TCR Europe this season. Credit: Paulo Maria / DPPI

“We are pleased to join the TCR Europe series. Our team’s mission is to form young drivers and bring them to top-level competition as we have done with Yann Ehrlacher and Thomas Laurent,” Monnier explained.

“We have chosen TCR Europe as a more appropriate series for a young driver’s correct approach to the category., despite our experience in WTCR from last year. Nelson has some racing experience, but he’s a rookie in Touring Cars, as for Nathan he wished to give a different direction to his career after two seasons with prototypes.”

Former European Le Mans Series LMP2 champion Panciatici is open to this newest challenge.

There are four Hyundai’s already entered for TCR Europe in 2019. Credit: Francois Flamand / DPPI

“It is a big change, but I was looking for a new challenge and this opportunity makes me really happy. I can’t wait to join the team and begin to discover the car. My goal is to be competitive, even though I know I have to learn to face a very competitive field,” Panciatici said.

For Bihel, who has already taken part in three racing seasons from his debut in the 2016 French Supertourisme Championship, the move from LMP3 to TCR is a new test in his young career.

“To join this programme is a great opportunity. It’s a bit like going back to the first steps of my career in Supertourisme. After a couple of seasons in LMP3 it won’t be easy to discover the front-wheel drive, but I can benefit from the team’s experience and will do my best to get on the pace quickly.”

TCR Europe gets underway in Hungary on April 27 – 28.

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I have been a very passionate fan of Motorsport for over 30 years with Touring Cars as my favourite form of Motor Racing. I cover The TCR UK Series, The TCR Europe Series and The FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) as well as following various TCR Series around the world.
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