This year the WestCoast Racing team competes with an all-Italian line-up of drivers Gianni Morbidelli and Giacomo Altoè behind the wheel. Morbidelli will drive the #10 car, while 16 years old team-mate Altoè will run the #21.
Meet Gianni Morbidelli – the super professional
At 49, Gianni Morbidelli is one of the most experienced drivers in international motorsport – yet he is by no means ready to be consigned to the scrap heap! The Italian, who started 67 Formula 1 races between 1990 and 1997, and also drove in the World Touring Car Championship WTCC, the FIA GT Championship and the V8 Supercars Series, is now in his third season in the TCR International Series. Gianni Morbidelli has been in the WestCoast TCR team since the start and the former Italian Superstar champion and F1 driver is hungry for more gold.
– I am really happy and enthusiastic to do another season with the team. We have great expectations for this year. We have a brand new car and we need to learn how to get up to full speed as fast as possible. I'm looking forward to this! says Morbidelli.
And he is confident of the team’s chances.
– I'm glad to be back in the team, and after two seasons with them I know what potential they have. Although we only had a few days of testing before the start of the season, I am very confident that we can challenge for the title. As a racing driver, you always focus on what you are doing at that particular moment in time. We are here to succeed in the TCR.
Team Manager James Nixon is also hopeful but also calls for patience and consistency.
– I know Gianni is as hungry for wins as ever, but we have accepted that it will be difficult for us in this early part of the season. We need to learn all about and understand our new car and be patient. Over the season, we need consistency. We have won more races than anyone in TCR International, but now we need a title”, said team manager James Nixon.
Meet Giacomo Altoè – the wonderkid
The team have added youth to experience in their line-up by signing Giacomo Altoè. The 16-year-old has already made his TCR debut in the Middle East series in the Top Run Subaru WRX STi. Now it´s time for the TCR International.
Altoè began his career in 2015 in Karting. In 2016 he switched to the Italian F4 Championship making his circuit-racing debut. During the season he took six points finishes, on his way to finishing twenty-second in the standings.
Altoè looks forward to the great challenge that lies ahead of him.
– WestCoast Racing has a lot of experience with standard cars. I really like the atmosphere of the team; everyone is professional and friendly so I'm really happy to be a part of this. It's a big step from TCR Middle East but I like the TCR category and look forward to it. The goal of the season is to learn as much as possible. I know Gianni well, he has a lot of experience and I hope to have a successful year together with him as a teammate!
And Team Manager James Nixon is amazed.
– Giacomo drove with us on a shakedown and I must say how impressed I was by him. He has a very wise head on very young shoulders and I look forward to see his development throughout the year.