The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) will find itself in new territory later this month as the Championship tackles the challenges of the Sonoma Raceway.
The Arena run Team Aon squad, and drivers Tom Chilton and James Nash, will be bringing the Global Ford Focus to the American marque’s backyard with two fast and explosive 13 lap races on 23rd September.
For Chilton and Nash it is another new and exciting experience in what has been a year of learning and development.
Looking to capitalise on recent comprehensive testing in the UK, Team Aon’s Global Ford Focus heads to the United States of America with further updates; and a stronger understanding of the WTCC car.
With the next round at the Sonoma Raceway the Championship’s first foray into the US, it will be a new challenge for drivers and teams alike who have so far this year competed in Europe, Africa and Brazil.
For Team Aon it marks the latest in the line of new challenges and experiences in their maiden year of competition in the WTCC. The 2012 season has been a learning curve for everyone involved with the Arena-run squad – building the two cars for Chilton and Nash as well as learning the new circuits they compete at.
Over the 2012 season the development to the Global Ford Focus has moved at an incredible pace as the year has progressed with both drivers providing great feedback to the team both over the course of every race weekend and during the precious hours of testing completed.
More renowned for IndyCar and NASCAR the Sonoma Raceway features 12 corners during the quick 2.5 mile lap. As a relatively unknown quantity for many of the WTCC drivers the playing field will effectively be levelled out as the paddock looks to quickly learn the unique factors of the Californian circuit.
For Chilton and Nash this has meant time in the simulator, familiarising themselves with the intricacies it has to offer.
Looking forward to yet another new challenge in the 2012 season Tom Chilton said, ‘I really can’t wait to drive around Sonoma this year in the Ford – to be able to bring the car to its backyard is a really great feeling and is a big deal for the entire team.
‘We’ve been doing a lot of testing recently on tracks which have similar aspects to Sonoma, such as the various corners and undulations, and the data is looking good for us so I’m feeling really confident heading to America and can’t wait to get on track.’
Team mate James Nash added, ‘I'm really excited to be able to drive a Ford in the US. Because it's our first year in the WTCC we have a lot to prove and for this round we have further upgrades to introduce to the Global Ford Focus. It's going to be a big event for me and the whole team so I'm really looking forward to it.’
Source: Team Aon