Luca Engstler has been announced as the first wildcard entry for next week’s World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) event at the Slovakiaring.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Franz, Luca Engstler will make his world level racing debut with the family team. As part of the newly-formed Hyundai young driver academy, Engstler will compete behind the wheel of a familiar i30 N TCR.
Despite being just 19 years old, Engstler has been a part of the TCR family for a few years now. The youngster made his debut with the family team back in 2017 in TCR Germany. Since then, he has transitioned from Volkswagen to Hyundai and has shown a rapid rate of development. In 2018, Engstler became a double TCR champion, picking up the drivers’ championship trophy in both the TCR Middle East Series and the TCR Asia Series.
This year, Engstler added the TCR Malaysia championship to his title honours, but will be splitting his full-time commitments between TCR Asia and TCR Europe for the rest of the season. The opportunity to appear as a wildcard in the WTCR represents yet another step up in calibre, and will prove to be a valuable learning experience.
Although the youngster has quickly risen to TCR stardom, Engstler remains level-headed and understands the challenge which this wildcard appearance shall pose.
“I’m more than happy and proud to race at the Slovakiaring in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO,” he said. “Of course I am so happy to get this opportunity and I am really thankful for the support. To join an official FIA series at 19 years old is just amazing. There is a bit of pressure and I am already kind of nervous, but I try to take the positives and learn a lot.”
“My goal for sure is not to jump on the podium there, we have to be realistic so my goal is to learn a lot and finish all races and just try to see and enjoy the WTCR weekend. With the 20 kilos we have as a wildcard, it is going to be even more tough, but I try to do my best. Learning a lot is the key for me.”