Honda Civic Type R TCR drivers Nestor Girolami and Esteban Guerrieri aim to maintain their lock on the top spots of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup as it moves on to the Slovakiaring this weekend.
The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport pair are first and second in the Drivers’ standings with Bebu heading table following a dynamic double win in Hungary, while their German outfit lead the Teams’ Championship.
With a combined three wins and five podium finishes from the opening five races, Bebu and Esteban have shown the prowess of the Civic Type R TCR on both bumpy, slow-speed street circuits and smoother, more conventional tracks like the Hungaroring.
The 5.9km Slovakiaring, located 30 minutes west of Bratislava, is another challenge altogether with a combination of fast, sweeping bends and two long straights placing a premium on high-speed stability and maximum velocity.
Bebu has happy memories of the track as it was the scene of his first World Touring Car race in a privateer Civic WTCC in 2015, while Esteban – races there for only the second time.
KCMG’s Tiago Monteiro is aiming to rediscover the form that made him the first Portuguese driver to lead an FIA World Championship with victory in the WTCC in Slovakia in 2016.
After a disappointing qualifying performance in Hungary that place him at the mercy of poor driving standards in the midfield, he and his team have been working hard to ensure he starts higher up the grid this time and avoids the melee.
Team-mate Attila Tassi scored a triple-points finish at his home event in Hungary – including a career-best 11th place – he is confident of more progress.
With all four Civic Type R TCRs carrying the maximum 60kg compensation weight in Slovakia, the Münnich and KCMG cars will be the heaviest in the series, making points-scoring crucial.
For the first time in the WTCR, the event will share top billing with the FIM Endurance World Championship; pitting the world’s top long-distance motorbike racers – including multiple Honda entries – against each other.
The addition of the bikes means that practice and qualifying will take place on Friday with the three races being held on Sunday.