Manuel Luque completes Toyota line-up for 2018 season
Toyota Gazoo Racing Argentina’s Super TC 2000 team has announced that junior TC 2000 champion Manuel Luque will drive the fourth factory-supported Toyota Corolla for the team after previous doubts over his racing future.
The 23-year-old will join team-mates Matías Rossi and new signings Damián Fineschi, coming from privateer team Escudería Fela, and Julián Santero, who raced for Peugeot in 2014.
Luque is the reigning TC 2000 junior series champion, having won 2017 title in style with a Renault Fluence of the Ambrogio Racing team, which runs the factory team for Renault in Super TC 2000. Luque made his racing debut at the age of 16 in Formula Renault 2.0.
“It’s a relief to be finally confirmed, the days of doubt were tough. I was basically out of racing in 2018 because of budget issues. I had no formal offers either to go out and start seeking for new sponsorship”, said Luque to TouringCarTimes.com.
“Toyota Gazoo Racing Argentina and Super TC 2000 promoters were key in this, they worked alongside me to make this possible. We looked all together for a solution and now we can finally confirm this.”
The cars of the TC 2000 junior series are nearly identical to the ones in the main series Super TC 2000, except for having four-cylinder engines instead of the Radical V8 engine of the top division.
“I may know the type of cars, but this is a new world – it will be a huge challenge from scratch, especially as I’ll have three amazing team-mates,” said Luque.
”They may beat me, but I like this, it will make me learn and improve a lot. This first races will be to earn experience. I want to be regular in my first season. A perfect year would see me completing every race and finishing the season in the top ten of the standings”
Luque will have his first drive with the Corolla in the 45 minutes of extra testing on Friday, when the 2018 Super TC 2000 season kicks off at the Oscar y Juan Gálvez Circuit in Buenos Aires.