Pepe Oriola, born in Barcelona on 9 July 1994, will become the youngest driver to ever race in WTCC. The Spaniard has signed a deal with SUNRED Engineering to drive a SEAT León next season and is set to make his WTCC debut in Brazil on March 20th, 2011 at the age of 16 years, 8 months and 11 days.
"This is a dream come true. It will be tough to be the youngest in the field, but I’ll do my best to make an impact. Obviously it will be difficult to fight for the title, but I will have the opportunity to learn from the best," Oriola said.
Despite his young age, Oriola has already achieved impressive results, starting from his very first car race in the 2009 SEAT León Supercópa when he finished on the podium at the age of 15. Last year he was classified fourth in the SEAT León Eurocup with a double victory in Valencia.
"We are confident that Pepe is mature enough to deliver a great maiden season. He has the potential to provide more than a surprise," declared SUNRED principal Joan Orús.
16-year old Spaniard Pepe Oriola will compete in the 2011 WTCC with SUNRED
ANDY PRIAULX TESTED THE WRC MINI
Triple WTCC champion Andy Priaulx tested the new MINI that will take part in the 2011 World Rally Championship.
"I had a bit of fun. It was great as Kris Meeke was there so he was able to show me the ropes, and then was brave enough to sit beside me while I drove the car," said Priaulx. "Is a lovely little car, and I am sure the programme will be successful. This was an amazing opportunity and I can’t thank David Richards enough for giving me such a great chance."
The MINI WRC is built by Prodrive and powered by the same 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbo engine of the BMW 320 TC for the 2011 World Touring Car Championship that Priaulx tested in Valencia last week.