Third Lada to return for more WTCC races

The third ex-factory Lada WTCC car will make further appearances in the championship at the Chinese and Japanese rounds in October.

Third Lada to return for more WTCC races
Yann Ehrlacher, RC Motorsport Lada Vesta
Start: Yann Ehrlacher, RC Motorsport Lada Vesta leads
Yann Ehrlacher, RC Motorsport Lada Vesta WTCC
Manuel Fernandes, RC Motorsport, Lada Vesta
Yann Ehrlacher, RC Motorsport, Lada Vesta
Manuel Fernandes, RC Motorsport, Lada Vesta

French squad RC Motorsport acquired the three cars ahead of the 2017 season following Lada’s decision to withdraw from the WTCC in late 2016.

RC registered two Vestas for the full season, with Yann Ehrlacher contesting every event for the squad and Kevin Gleason joining for the second round at Monza.

The third car does not have the same entry status, but was previously raced in Vila Real by Portuguese driver Manuel Fernandes and will be driven in China and Japan by Macanese Filipe de Souza.

De Souza has previous experience in the WTCC, having contested a number of Asian rounds in the latter years of the championship’s Super 2000 era between 2011 and 2014.

He made a total of 20 starts and scored a best finish of 13th in Macau.

“In my racing career I always like challenges and higher-level competition,” said de Souza, who has competed in sporadically in the TCR International and regional Asia series since his WTCC.

“This is my aim and I’ve always believed by path belongs to the WTCC and to be part of the WTCC family.

"I’m racing for my dreams and for my country.”

Although he competed in the WTCC in the first year of the TC1 era, the China weekend will be de Souza’s first in current-spec machinery as his 2014 starts were all in a BMW 320 TC in the TC2 division for S2000 cars that were being phased out.

RC is also expected to field the third Lada for November's Macau round, but is yet to announce a driver.

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