Curitiba: Round five pre-race notes

WTCC RACE OF BRAZIL LAUNCHED IN CURITIBA The FIA WTCC HSBC Race of Brazil was officially launched today in Curitiba. At lunch time all the drivers took part in two autograph sessions in front of the HSBC headquarters, on the central Avenida Luis...

WTCC RACE OF BRAZIL LAUNCHED IN CURITIBA

The FIA WTCC HSBC Race of Brazil was officially launched today in Curitiba. At lunch time all the drivers took part in two autograph sessions in front of the HSBC headquarters, on the central Avenida Luis Xavier; a huge number of fans and many media representatives attended the event.

In the afternoon the Mayor of Curitiba, Mr Beto Richa, and Mr Glen Valente, Marketing Director of HSBC, welcomed the drivers at a cocktail reception in the Graciosa Country Club.

"Curitiba is really proud to host the FIA WTCC's first Brazilian event. We are working very hard to make it a successful one and to give Curitiba a stable place in the calendar of this FIA World Championship," said Mr Beto Richa.

Jacques Behar, president of KSO, echoed: "Brazil is a country of football excellence, but also a country that loves motor sports deeply and has produced a lot of talented drivers. And therefore I wish that the Brazilian fans will come to support their local boy Augusto Farfus as strongly as they do with their legendary Selecão."

SEAT DRIVERS MAKE 1-2-3 IN TESTING

Early signs indicate the Brazilian circuit of Curitiba suits the SEAT cars, as the top three times in the testing session were completed in a Leon. Peter Terting was the fastest with a 1:25.125.

Fellow SEAT Sport driver, Jordi Gene was the third quickest while GR Asia's independent competitor Tom Coronel split the two with a time of 1:25.306. The first outing of the weekend for the WTCC cars provided a taste of what is to come, with numerous drivers topping the timesheet at different stages.

Andy Priaulx headed the BMWs, 0.436 seconds off Terting's time. Behind him was another SEAT driven by Rickard Rydell while the 6th fastest time was achieved by local lad Augusto Farfus at the wheel of his N.technology Alfa Romeo 156. The Chevrolet team's best result came from Rob Huff who completed a lap in 1:25.819, .

On his return appearance to the WTCC, Fabrizio Giovanardi posted the 10th best time in a JAS Motorsport Honda Accord.

Throughout the session the times were incredibly close. At one stage a grand total of 19 drivers were within one second. With three minutes remaining the session was red flagged as a result of Romanini's BMW being stranded on the grass along the pit straight.

The test resumed shortly afterwards and it was in these final three minutes that the top four times were set.

LUCAS MOLO FACES WTCC DEBUT

Augusto Farfus will not be the only Brazilian to hit the track in a WTCC car this weekend. Lucas Molo, who is 23 and from Rio de Janeiro will also be at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo, this one run by Equipo TekProm.

"Augusto and I spoke last night and he told me a few things but I need to speak with him a lot more for his advice on how to approach the weekend," said the young driver who enjoys football and clubbing.

`I am a little nervous to be here but extremely happy. This is a great chance to take because it is a very important championship with high class drivers; it's a dream. I hope to learn from this weekend. It will be the first time in my car which is older than the others and has also taken part in endurance races but I don't know what to expect. Let me get on the track and then I will know everything!"

-fia-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Andy Priaulx , Tom Coronel , Augusto Farfus , Peter Terting , Rob Huff , Rickard Rydell , Jordi Gene , Lucas Molo