This weekend’s visit to Sochi marks a fourth and final new track in succession in the second half of the 2021 season, and is the first WTCR round to be held in Russia.
Seeking a first victory of the campaign, Esteban - the record WTCR win holder - is hoping to save his best for last at the 5.848-kilometre circuit, with 60 points up for grabs and a 37-point deficit to overturn.
The Argentinian is now one of only two drivers to have gone into every WTCR season finale still in the hunt for the title, while it is also the fourth year Esteban, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, and the Honda Civic Type R TCR are still in the running; no other combination has achieved this.
Flanking Esteban will be compatriot Nestor Girolami, ready to play his part to assist both his team-mate’s bid in the Drivers’ standings and that of ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport in the Teams’ Championship.
As well as fulfilling that support role, ‘Bebu’ - who won at Most last month to maintain his record of taking at least one victory in each WTCR season he has contested - is also looking to move up the standings.
The ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport team may be out of the running for the Teams’ title, but like Nestor both Attila Tassi and Tiago Monteiro will be out to support Esteban’s bid.
Attila made his biggest breakthrough in the WTCR yet by winning at the second round of the season in Portugal earlier this year and, after a difficult patch, was on form last time out in Italy where he qualified 11th.
The Hungarian is one of just five drivers to have competed at Sochi previously, having raced at the Russian Grand Prix venue in the TCR International Series in 2016, scoring a podium.
Tiago is another member of the 2021 race winners’ club, having triumphed in the season opener at the Nürburgring.
In what is his 10th season as part of the Honda Racing stable, Tiago is looking for a return to the front of the field this weekend in order to end the season on a high.