Honda Racing team Sweden to field reigning Argentine Súper TC2000 for two WTCC rounds
Honda Racing team Sweden to field reigning Argentine Súper TC2000 champion for two WTCC rounds
Stockholm, June 12, 2015
Honda Racing team Sweden will give Argentinean sensation Néstor Girolami his FIA World Touring Car Championship debut, fielding the highly-rated 26-year-old in two of the remaining seven rounds of the 2015 season.
Girolami, the reigning Argentine Súper TC2000 champion, will take to the wheel of Honda Racing team Sweden’s Honda Civic TC1 for the up-coming Slovakian and Portuguese events, with the squad’s regular driver Rickard Rydell completing the remainder of the season.
Girolami’s drive is the result of discussions initiated after Rydell was forced into lengthy recuperation due to illness following the opening round of the season.
With uncertainty about when Rydell would be back in action, and with the team’s campaign severely compromised by sitting out races in Morocco, Hungary and Germany, a deal was put in place to facilitate Girolami’s much- anticipated arrival on the world touring car stage.
Rydell subsequently recovered sufficiently to race for the team at last weekend’s WTCC Race of Russia, and will next return to driving duties for the WTCC Race of France on June 26-28. Girolami will take to the wheel at the Slovakia Ring on June 19-21, and at Portugal’s Vila Real street circuit on July 10-12.
Age: 26 (1989/05/22)
Lives: Córdoba Province, Argentina
CV: 2014 Argentine Súper TC2000 champion, 200 km de Buenos Aires winner
Néstor Girolami (driver)
”I am really, really happy about this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started. I have a lot to learn about the car, the tracks and the championship so I will be taking things step-by-step. I would love to come to the WTCC next year and race a full season. It is a very big and professional championship with a race in Argentina and I want to be a part of it. Big thanks to WTCC promoter Eurosport Events and to Honda Racing team Sweden for all their help in making this happen.”
Nicklas Karlsson (team principal)
”Néstor Girolami could well be the next big thing in touring car racing. Everyone in the paddock has been waiting for his arrival. When it became clear to us that Rickard’s recovery was going to take some time, we obviously had to look at our available options, and this was the most interesting solution for our long-term ambitions. It allows us – a small Swedish privateer team – to introduce an up-and-coming driver to the sport, and we will also take this opportunity to evaluate the feasibility of a two-car team in the future. This decision was of course made in full transparency with Rickard during his illness, and we look forward to working with not just one, but two talented drivers over the rest of the season.”
Rickard Rydell (driver)
”As good as it was to get back in the car in Russia last weekend, this decision was made before my return and I fully support it. I have missed three rounds this year and there is very little we can achieve in terms of the championship, so this will have no effect as far as that is concerned. On the contrary, this will benefit us in the longer term as we explore ways for the team to grow. I would like to welcome Néstor to the team and there is no doubt that he will do a good job for us. I will be back in France and for the final rounds.”