Francesca Raffaele is set to return to TCR Italy for her third season, joining newcomer team Aikoa Racing in an Audi RS3 LMS.
Francesca Raffaele will return to TCR Italy for her third season in the series, the Italian driver confirmed. Raffaele joins newcomer team Aikoa Racing, which enters the series for the first time with five Audi RS3 LMS cars.
Young Italian touring car talent Raffaele in fact returns to the Audi platform after her debut in 2020, joining experienced teammate and 2022 TCR Europe champion Franco Girolami - in a highly promising driver line up for Aikoa Racing.
Francesca has been a highly-ranked driver on the Italian and European karting scene, contesting elite competitions such as WSK and the CIK-FIA European Championship in the Mini, OK Junior and OK categories before stepping up to race cars in 2019, in the Renault Sport Clio Cup Italy.
Raffaele soon made a name for herself on the popular TCR platform, having joined the Italian field in 2020 - initially in an Audi RS3 LMS then switching mid-way through the season to the Hyundai i30 N TCR of Target Competition. With a really strong rookie season in TCR Italy, Raffaele scored a top-five finish at her debut in Mugello, finished in the points in eight races and claimed an overall fourth place at Monza as her best result.
Unfortunately, a serious testing accident before the 2021 season ruled her out for the entire following season - but she would fight back in 2022, making a spectacular comeback in the series. After getting back into the rhythm, Raffaele was straight back in the points - in a packed grid of almost 40 entries - and had highly competitive rounds in Imola and Mugello.
Francesca Raffaele will therefore return for her third season in TCR Italy with a new journey with a new team. She is one of the two female drivers already confirmed for the 2023 season, as Carlotta Fedeli will also join the grid with RC Motorsport.
The 2023 TCR Italy calendar features six rounds plus the Vallelunga TCR World Tour round in June; the season will get underway in Imola on April 21-23.
2023 TCR Italy Calendar
R1: Imola, Italy / April 21-23
R2: Misano, Italy / May 5-7
R3: Mugello, Italy / Jul 7-9
R4: Monza, Italy / September 15-17
R5: Vallelunga, Italy / October 13-15
R6: Imola, Italy / October 27-29