Photo: Team Engstler

Josh Files replaces Nicky Catsburg who has tested positive for COVID-19

Josh Files will take over Nicky Catsburg’s Hyundai i30 N TCR for the World Touring Car Cup races at MotorLand Aragón this weekend as the Dutchman has tested positive for COVID-19.

“After competing in the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, I tested positive for coronavirus in a routine test after the event,” said Catsburg.

“I had tested negative before the weekend but unfortunately I have since contracted the virus. I have been quarantining at home from the moment I learned of my diagnosis, and thankfully have only been experiencing mild symptoms. It’s a real shame to miss the race in Aragón and I wish Josh and the entire team the best of luck this weekend.”

Files received a late message from Team Engstler after the team had received news of Catsburg’s illness.

“I was about to go to bed on Tuesday night when I got a WhatsApp asking if I was free this weekend,” said Files.

“It’s gone a bit crazy since then and it’s a daunting prospect, but I’m determined to be as competitive as possible, work with the team and push forward. That’s the goal.”

The 29-year-old is the reigning TCR Europe champion but has been left without a full-time drive this season, most recently taking part in the 2020 TCR Malaysia races at the beginning of the year for Solite Indigo Racing.

“It’s a late call up but I know the track from competing there seven years ago,” said Files.

“WTCR is totally new to me but I know the Hyundai i30 N TCR well, having won the TCR Europe title with the car in 2019. I’m excited to make my debut and grateful to have the opportunity, despite the unfortunate circumstances.

“I’m looking forward to working with Engstler Motorsport and hope I can fight with the others at the top end of the field.”