José María “Pechito” López, one of Argentina’s most competitive drivers, will make his first WTCC appearance on his home race meeting.
Though he just turned thirty, López has already built himself a solid reputation in different national and international categories. Having moved to Europe after his first steps in karting, “Pechito” impressed in formula cars clinching the 2003 Formula Renault V6 Euro Cup title and claiming race wins and podiums in GP2 and Formula 3000. This resulted in him being selected as tester by the Renault F1 team in 2006.
Three years later López was announced as a driver of the ill-fated US F1 Team programme that aborted even before the start.
Meanwhile López had returned to Argentina, emerging as one of the best racers in national Touring Car series such as the TC2000, Super TC2000, Turismo Carretera and Top Race.
Driving for factory teams such as Honda, Ford and Fiat, he clinched a number of victories and four national titles.
López will be the second Argentine driver to race in 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.
At Termas de Río Hondo López will drive a Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC; team manager Dominik Greiner commented: “I’m really happy we signed with him. 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.”