Four-time World Touring Car champion Yvan Muller will come out of retirement to spearhead a World Touring Car Cup assault with fellow champion Thed Bjork.
Muller was the most decorated champion in the WTCC's previous guise with 48 victories, but retired at the end of the '16 season after a three-year spell with Citroen at the same time the manufacturer ended its programme.
He took up a role with Volvo as development driver and senior advisor for the Polestar-run WTCC outfit last year, and later reversed his retirement decision for the final round of the season in Qatar to support the team's successful title bids that included Bjork beating Honda's Norbert Michelisz to the drivers' crown.
Muller has now reversed that move permanently for the first season of the new WTCR world cup, and will race a Hyundai i30 N TCR for his Yvan Muller Racing outfit alongside Bjork.
"My goal is a bit different than in the past,” said Muller, the 2008, '10, '11 and '13 WTCC champion.
"I have done my career and my focus now is on the team and our development rather than outright results.
"I am pleased to have Thed involved, he trusts me and I trust him. There is no doubt that he is a great driver, I know because I spent the season with him last year."
Bjork added: "I am excited to be back for the 2018 season, especially with Yvan – we had a great cooperation last year.
"To race together with him in the new regulations is truly motivating and inspiring.
"We have a lot of new things to learn and the competition is hard, but my goal is always to win."
YMR also runs cars in the LMP3 division of the Le Mans Cup and will field a pair of Mercedes-AMG GT4s in the GT4 European Series Southern Cup (French GT Championship).
It is yet to take delivery of its two Hyundais for the WTCR world cup.
2018 WTCR grid so far:
|Comtoyou Racing (Audi)|| |
|BRC Racing (Hyundai)|| |
|Sebastien Loeb Racing (VW)|| |
|Yvan Muller Racing (Hyundai)|| |
|Boutsen Ginion (Honda)||Tiago Monteiro|
|Munnich Motorsport (Honda)||Esteban Guerrieri|
|Romeo Ferraris (Alfa Romeo)||TBA|
Monteiro, Guerrieri sign up for Honda WTCR programmes
Shedden makes WTCR switch with WRT Audi