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– Sébastien Loeb Racing competing with two 350 hp touring car racers
– Quality not quantity: Robert Huff and Mehdi Bennani form the Volkswagen spearhead
– Golf GTI TCR key to consecutive championship successes in the world’s top TCR series

The start of the top class for touring car racing: this coming weekend, Volkswagen is taking some stellar references to the start of the debut season in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR). After two consecutive titles in the top international TCR series – the TCR International championship, which has now joined with the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) – the Volkswagen customer team Sébastien Loeb Racing is now the brand spearhead with two Golf GTI TCRs. Robert Huff (GB) and Mehdi Bennani (MA) will be competing in the customer racing touring cars. The 2018 version of the thoroughbred 257 kW (350 hp) racing car has a great opportunity to continue that success story in the newly-created FIA World Cup. The series-oriented touring car, developed by Volkswagen Motorsport and competing for customer teams in an ever-increasing number of international TCR series since 2015, boasts a total of 18 international and domestic titles. The 100th Golf GTI TCR was only recently delivered.

“The FIA World Cup is the international pinnacle of the touring car pyramid and is the object of prestige among around 20 TCR series,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “We are approaching the season with our customer team Sébastien Loeb Racing and we are delighted that such an experienced and successful team has chosen the Golf GTI TCR. We and Sébastien Loeb Racing are competing with two cars and top-class drivers.”

Sébastien Loeb Racing will be calling on the services of a driver already experienced with the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, 2012 world touring car champion Robert Huff from Cambridge, Great Britain. They will also be relying on Mehdi Bennani from Fez, Morocco, who topped the world touring car championship standings for privateers in 2016.

“Having so many manufacturers on the grid means that the WTCR will be a great show,” predicts Rob Huff ahead of the 2018 season. “And I am proud to be sporting the colours of Volkswagen. We want the title, even though we are well aware of the competition and of how hard-fought the championship will be.”

“Many things are new in 2018: the cars, the series is now called WTCR and not WTCC. But I have the chance to stay with my team Sébastien Loeb Racing,” says Mehdi Bennani. “I can feel the support emanating from Morocco and it is a great honour for our country to be hosting the opening race. I would like to repay this trust with some good results.”

Ten events on four continents – that is the World Touring Car Cup
The World Touring Car Cup is starting on its inaugural season, featuring events in Africa, Europe, South America and Asia in 2018. Each race weekend features three scheduled races. The season-opener will take place this coming weekend (7th-8th April) in Marrakesh, Morocco. The European races will take place at the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary, at the Nürburgring in Germany, on the Dutch coast in Zandvoort and in Vila Real, Portugal, before the WTCR visits South America for the race at Termas de Río Hondo in Argentina. The final four races will be in Asia: in Ningbo and Wuhan in China, in Suzuka, Japan and then the final event of the season on the legendary street circuit in Macau.

FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) Calendar

07.04.–08.04.2018
Marrakesh (MA)

28.04.–29.04.2018
Budapest (H)

10.05.–12.05.2018
Nürburgring (D)

19.05.–21.05.2018
Zandvoort (NL)

23.06.–24.06.2018
Vila Real (P)

04.08.–05.08.2018
Termas de Río Hondo (RA)

29.09.–30.09.2018
Ningbo (CHN)

05.10.–07.10.2018
Wuhan (CHN)

26.10.–28.10.2018
Suzuka (J)

15.11.–18.11.2018
Macau (CHN)

The TCR (Touring Car Racing) series has added around 20 domestic and regional championships since its foundation in 2015, including in the UK.

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