Jose Maria Lopez to make WTCC debut in Argentina

Jose Maria Lopez will make his World Touring Car Championship debut at his home Argentina race next weekend

Jose Maria Lopez to make WTCC debut in Argentina

The 30-year-old, a three-time Super TC2000 champion, will compete for the Wiechers squad at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.

Regular driver Freddy Barth will miss the event due to alternative commitments.

Lopez, who was announced as a driver for the ill-fated US F1 team in 2009, will become only the second Argentinean to compete in the WTCC after Leonel Pernía's one-off appearance at Monza in 2010, when he finished tenth in the second race at the wheel of a factory Chevrolet Cruze.

Wichers team manager Dominik Greiner hailed the deal, saying he expected Lopez to be capable of challenging for points from the outset.

"I'm really happy we signed with him," Greiner said. "Everybody involved in the event put a lot of effort into this and now we are looking forward to a great weekend in Argentina.

"'Pechito' is very popular and I'm sure he will learn quickly how to handle the WTCC car.

"I hope we will score many points in the races."

Barth will also miss the Suzuka round in September, but is expected to compete in every other event this year.

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Series WTCC
Drivers Jose Maria Lopez
Author Sam Tremayne
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