Italian touring car legend, the ever smiling, ever flamboyant Gabriele Tarquini has signed up to be the development driver of Hyundai’s new i30 TCR touring car.
The former BTCC champion has been a stalwart of the World Touring Car Championship since its rebirth in 2005 but with Lada opting out of the series with a late desicion at the end of last season he was left with very little options for 2017.
After a Formula 1 career yielding one solitary point for the French AGS team in 1989 he started racing touring cars in Italy in 1993 for Alfa Romeo, becoming their lead driver for their assault on the 1994 BTCC in the infamous 155, winning the title at his first attempt.
He has been in touring cars ever since, racing in Italy, Germany and Britain as well as the European and World championships later on and was a key factor in the development of the WTCC Lada Vesta last season which lead to the squad achieving three wins before closing down the programme.
All this means that the popular Italian is the perfect choice to develop the brand new Hyundai i30 TCR, which will start testing soon and be ready for customers in December.
It is rumoured that the car could make its International Seris debut before 2017 is out and I for one hope that it is Tarquini behind the wheel.