52 TONNES OF FOOD COLLECTED IN
The WTCC Race of Brazil, which took place last Sunday in Curitiba, again made a contribution towards the aid of the starving people of Brazil.
Like in 2007, together the City Hall of Curitiba; KSO, the championship promoter; HSBC and TIM, partners of the event, offered free tickets to the public in exchange for two kilograms of food.
52 tonnes of food (compared to last year's 24) were collected throughout the campaign and donated to the charity society Instituto Pro-Cidadania de Curitiba, who will distribute the food to those in need.
On Sunday morning, in front of absolutely packed grandstands, the Mayor of Curitiba Beto Richa; the Chairman and General Manager of KSO Jacques Behar and Marcello Lotti; and the Markerting Director of HSBC Glenn Valente, presented a board symbolizing the success of this humanitarian initiative to Mrs Fernanda Richa, president of the charity institute.
This will now result in the distribution of more than 300,000 meals.
DRIVERS SUPPORT GREEN CAMPAIGN
The first round of the 2008 season in Curitiba also marked the beginning of the WTCC's support for the FIA's Make Cars Green campaign.
Make Cars Green is an international campaign, aimed at reducing the impact of motoring on the environment. As part of the campaign, the FIA has launched a public policy Declaration which calls on the United Nations to adopt the first ever worldwide target for CO2 emissions in passenger cars. Make Cars Green also outlines how policy makers, industry and consumers can all play a constructive role in the development of a more ecologically sustainable means of personal mobility in the future.
In Curitiba all the WTCC drivers posed for a group photo to support the campaign. Their World Rally Championship colleagues have done the same in Mexico, and the Formula One competitors will do it next week in Australia.
BRAZIL REVIEW - SEAT'S DOUBLE VICTORY
SEAT Sport team opened the 2008 FIA WTCC with a double victory at Curitiba, in front of a crowd of 45,000.
The Leon TDI cars won both races: in the first one pole sitter Yvan Muller crossed the line first followed by his team-mate Rickard Rydell, while Gabriele Tarquini - on his 46th birthday - resisted the charge of BMW's reigning champion Andy Priaulx in the second race.
As a consequence of these results, Muller and Tarquini are equal with 14 points on top of the Drivers' Championship, while in the Manufacturers' Championship SEAT lead by 8 ahead of BMW.
BMW drivers Priaulx, Jorg Muller, Augusto Farfus and Felix Porteiro made life tough for their fellow SEAT competitors and collected three podium results: Muller third in Race 1 (after Farfus' exclusion for a technical infringement), Priaulx and Porteiro second and third respectively in Race 2.
Chevrolet suffered a nightmare weekend. Alain Menu's dramatic shunt in qualifying - from which he escaped unharmed - seemed to be an omen and all three Chevrolet men (Robert Huff, Nicola Larini and Menu) were eliminated in collisions during the first race. The second race was not much better: only Larini made it to the end, but out of the points.
In the Independents' Trophy, Olivier Tielemans scored two victories on his first appearance in the Wiechers-Sport BMW.
YOKOHAMA PARTNER OF SPEED RACER
During last week's WTCC event in Curitiba, Yokohama exhibited the Mach 5 car that will star in the new Warner Bros movie 'Speed Racer'.
The movie, written and directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski (creators of 'The Matrix') will be released from May 9th, 2008.
'Speed Racer' stars Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, Matthew Fox, John Goodman, and Oscar winner Susan Sarandon; the movie is based on the classic series 'Mach Go Go Go' created by Japanese anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida.
Yokohama will exhibit the Mach 5 car at various other WTCC events this year.