This page contains archived information and may not display perfectly

WTCR: title contender Ehrlacher goes tree planting in Russia


Yann Ehrlacher, well-placed to become first back-to-back title-winner in history WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup, took part in an environmental activation on a Friday before the season-concluding event, the VTB Race of Russia.

The Frenchman planted an olive tree in the Natural Ornithological Park in Sochi’s Imeretinskaya Lowland. By planting olive trees at the venue, drivers set an example and contribute to the ecology of the region outside the track with the support of ANO Rosgonki, the organisation that operates the Sochi Autodrom.

“I did that when I was a kid, just helping, so let’s say this is the first time,” said the Cyan Racing Lynk & Co driver, 25.

“I used to live in the south of France where in some places are big parks of olive trees. I used to pick up olives to make olive oil.”

When asked if he likes olives, Ehralcher replied: “I do, so it even better today that I was able to plant that kind of tree.”

Ehralcher’s tree will grow alongside those planted on previous occasions by some of Russia’s most prominent names in motor sport, long-time Formula One driver Daniil Kvyat and single-seater ace Robert Shwartzman, 2019 FIA Formula 3 title-winner.

“Being next to two big figures of motor sport with Shwartzman and Kvyat feels really good,” Ehrlacher added.

“Russia has been quite significant for me in terms of emotions as I started competing in World Touring Cars with a Russian team,” admits Ehrlacher who made his World Touring Car debut driving an RC Motorsport-run TC1-specification Lada Vesta in the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship season.

He’s also one of the very few drivers on the WTCR grid with previous experience of Sochi Autodrom, having raced here back in 2015 in Mitjet Series Russia 2L Arctic Cup, finishing second and first.

I drove here in 2015. It’s a very nice track. For us in touring cars it’s long, but it’s amazing, the long-left corner around the Olympic Park is really nice.

“It will be difficult because a little mistake can cost a lot, but the track is amazing and I can’t really wait to start driving tomorrow,” he concluded.

Ahead of the title-deciding encounter, Yann Ehrlacher is well placed to win the cup for the second time in a row. He leads the standing with 201 points to his name. 36 points down on the leader sits Audi’s Frédéric Vervisch, who is only a single pint ahead of Honda’s Esteban Guerrieri.