Antti Buri secures wildcard drive at the Nordschleife

by James Bowers

Antti Buri, the current leader of the TCR Germany points standings, has been revealed as a wildcard entrant into the upcoming World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) event at the Nurburgring.

Buri and his LMS Racing crew picked up their third race victory of the season last weekend at the Red Bull Ring, handing the Finnish driver a 13 point advantage over reigning champion, Harald Proczyk.

However, Buri will not be representing the LMS Racing team on his World Cup adventure. Instead, the Finn shall compete with AS Motorsport; a new outfit which he has played a role in establishing. The car, however, will be familiar. Just as in the TCR Germany Series, the Audi RS3 TCR will be Buri’s weapon of choice.

The 30 year-old is keen to make the next step up in his racing career. Ahead of the event, Buri said: “The WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO has always been a big goal for me. I’ve been racing in ADAC TCR Germany since 2016, I’ve been racing TCR cars on an international level in the 24H Series and as the opportunity came to step up to world level, I grabbed it now with the wildcard entry.”

However, just like the previous wildcard entries of Tamas Tenke and Luca Engstler, Buri will be burdened with an extra 20kg of ballast. This will provide an added challenge, but Buri feels as though his experience around the Nordschleife could help to mitigate that:

“These are the rules, and they are the same for every wildcard, so no excuses. Obviously, extra weight doesn’t help us, but my knowledge of the track should be good as I have done two 24-hour races on the Nordschleife. Last year, together with my team-mates, I won the TCR class of the Nürburgring 24 Hours. But endurance racing is not sprint racing.”

“Also, I have never raced the Audi RS 3 LMS on the Nordschleife. But generally speaking, I know the car very well, it has been my race car in ADAC TCR Germany since 2017, and I have clinched three wins this year already.”

Although he’s happy simply to be on the grid, Antti Buri wants to put in a good performance as a WTCR driver, and has his sights set on a place in the top ten:

“There can’t be any doubt about the level of the #WTCR2019SUPERGRID with so many world champions and winners of other top categories. I’ve closely followed the WTCR on television and on the internet, so I know how close the racing is and how small the gaps are. If you are a little bit off the pace, you’re way back.”

“We will be quite satisfied if we are in the top 10, which is my personal goal. But honestly, it’s simply great to be part of this for one weekend. I’m sure I’ll enjoy every second of it.”

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