Macau (MNA) – The Macanese racer, who has competed sporadically in the TCR International and regional Asia series since his WTCC efforts, is aiming to be the best of the six local entries in the WTCR season final at Circuito da Guia.
“My aim is to be the best of the Macau drivers. Obviously André is my target but I’ll try by every means possible,” said Souza to MNA. “I am very confident in my car after my last test before the Macau Grand Prix. The car is very well prepared.”
Souza has previous experience in the WTCC, having contested several Asian rounds in the championship’s Super 2000 era between 2011 and 2014. He made a total of 24 starts and scored a best finish of 6th in Ningbo. In 2013, Souza was the champion of the 2014 WTCC Asia Trophy at the wheel of a Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC.
The 42-year-old has been a regular in the Macau Touring Car Cup support race, where he finished second in the 1.600cc Turbo Class in 2016. But the WTCR is an all-different challenge.
“In Macau Touring Car Cup I was one of the frontrunners and everyone is looking at me. In the WTCR Guia Race I just want to do the best possible in the race and push for a fast lap time,” the #60 Champ Motorsport Audi RS3 LMS TCR driver said. “In the Macau Touring Car Cup you aim for the podium positions and only the win matters but in the WTCR you’re just looking at doing your best. On the other hand, the WTCR race is more important to me as it is not a support race. I can learn from the best on high-level environment. Indeed, the WTCR budget required is much higher when compared to the support races.”
Souza is considering leaving the local races, stepping to a full international campaign next year and he believes that a good result at Macau will certainly help to achieve his target.
“A good result here is important because the Asian teams like those taking part in the China Touring Car Championship (CTCC) are watching and they pick up their drivers here”.
Last month TCR promoters WSC Technology confirmed the first all-electric multi-brand touring car series, ETCR, which is due to make its debut in 2020. Souza is looking at this new series with a particular interest.
“I am considering finishing my career in electric racing. This new touring car series will come up in 2020, and I think it is very interesting. I’ve been following the FIA Formula E championship, but I know I have no chance there. Still my goal is to drive an electric racing car”, confessed Souza.
Four to six other automobile manufacturers are in negotiations to join the ETCR. The format is expected to begin with an international championship, similar to current TCR headline series FIA WTCR. Further regional and national championships will then be created for subsequent seasons in different regions.
“The future is with electric cars and all the manufacturers are preparing their involvement in electric racing. I want to be the first Macau driver to do an electric racing championship”, he said.
A well-placed source have told MNA that it is premature to foresee a possible ETCR race in Macau at this stage as the new series will only kick off in 2020.