Dylan O’Keeffe has landed a drive in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup opener this coming weekend in Belgium.
O’Keeffe will race for Vukovic Motorsport in a Renault Megane RS TCR car at Zolder, making him the first Australian to compete in WTCR.
The 22-year-old is slated to race the same model in TCR Australia this year for Garry Rogers Motorsport and tested for Vukovic Motorsport, the Renault homologation team, at the Salzburgring last month.
He remained overseas thereafter, with the suspension of racing domestically allowing him to compete on the world stage before returning home.
“My first race meeting outside Australia was the 2017 Carrera Cup round I did in Malaysia, which was my first podium finish in the category,” said O’Keeffe.
“I participated in the Porsche Junior Programme Shootout a couple of times but didn’t have any more chances to race overseas.
“For this WTCR drive to have come to fruition is quite incredible, considering the circumstances we’re all facing with COVID-19 and I’m extremely grateful to the team at Vukovic Motorsport for giving me the opportunity to race their car.
“While I’m still very much focused on my TCR Australia drive with Garry Rogers Motorsport, the season is suspended until at least October, which has created the window for me to travel overseas and be able to follow the necessary quarantine protocols when I return.”
Vukovic Motorsport team owner Milkenko Vukovic said, “We’re thrilled to have Dylan in one of our cars for the first round of our WTCR campaign.
“As we expected, Dylan did a fine job in our Renault at the test day and provided us with some valuable feedback.
“We can’t wait to see him racing wheel-to-wheel with the other WTCR drivers.”
O’Keeffe believes that said test outing stands him in good stead for the races at Zolder.
“We achieved our main objective from the test day, which was to improve the handling balance of the car,” declared the Melburnian.
“It was quite wet in the morning but it dried out in the afternoon, which was useful because it enabled me to get a feel for the car and circuit in different types of conditions.
“The crew at Vukovic Motorsport have been enjoyable to work with and I’m confident we’ll arrive for the WTCR round with a solid baseline set-up.”
Two races will be held at Zolder on September 12-13.