Franco Girolami to lead new Aikoa Racing programme

Reigning TCR Europe champion Franco Girolami has been named as the lead driver for a five car assault on the TCR Italy series by newcomers Aikoa Racing.

Girolami will be at the wheel of one of two of the latest generation Audi RS 3 LMS cars being entered by the Venetian squad, with Francesca Raffaele in the sister car.

The team will also then run three DSG Audis for Paolo Palanti, Filippo Barberi and Stefano De Vecchi.

Girolami’s move into the Italian series comes on the back of a hugely successful 2022 campaign that saw him take the European title ahead of fellow Audi racer Tom Coronel and also make his debut in WTCR – scoring a best finish of fourth in Saudi Arabia.

The Argentine racer had hoped to secure a drive in the new TCR World Tour for 2023, although he is still hopeful of contesting selected events.

“I’m happy to announce that I will race full time in TCR Italy with Aikoa Racing and an Audi RS 3 LMS,” he said. “I want to thank the team for this opportunity and our sole objective is to fight for the championship.

“My intention to be part of the TCR World Tour in some events in 2023 remain intact. I won’t give up on that goal and will keep fighting for it!”