WTCC Monza: Second Lada rejoins series with debutant Gleason
|By Jack Cozens||Tuesday, April 25th 2017, 08:46 GMT|
American Kevin Gleason will make his World Touring Car Championship debut in a second ex-works Lada at Monza this weekend, pushing the field up to a 16-car grid.
The 30-year-old will drive a second Vesta for the RC Motorsport team at the Italian Grand Prix venue, alongside fellow rookie Yann Ehrlacher, who competed in the first round of the season in Marrakech.
Gleason moves over from the TCR International Series, having finished fifth overall in the inaugural season with two wins to his name before contesting a part-campaign last year.
His addition means all 16 full-season entries will contest the second round of the season in Italy.
Gleason will test the Vesta for the first time on Tuesday afternoon at RC's Magny-Cours base, before heading to Monza.
"Until last weekend we were still working on a deal to return to the TCR International Series so to be taking the grid a week later in the WTCC is a bit of a surprise," he said.
"I have followed the series closely for a few years now and have been along to a few of the races.
"I have been very impressed at the levels of professionalism and of course the quality of the drivers so when the opportunity came along to join RC I jumped at the chance.
"I'm looking forward to joining all of the top-level drivers in this highly competitive series.
"The only downside is that things have come together very late and I will only sit in the car for the first time today so I am managing my expectations for Monza."
While no formal deal has been announced, RC hopes to campaign Gleason in the remainder of the season.